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Across a Hundred Mountains
Synopses & Reviews
Across a Hundred Mountains is a stunning and poignant story of migration, loss, and discovery as two women — one born in Mexico, one in the United States — find their lives joined in the most unlikely way.
After a tragedy separates her from her mother, Juana García leaves her small town in Mexico to find her father, who left his home and family two years before to find work in America, el otro lado, and rise above the oppressive poverty so many of his countrymen endure.
Out of money and in need of someone to help her across the border, Juana meets Adelina Vasquez, a young woman who left her family in California to follow her lover to Mexico. Finding each other — in a Tijuana jail — in desperate circumstances, they offer each other much needed material and spiritual support and ultimately become linked forever in the most unexpected way.
The phenomenon of Mexican immigration to the United States is one of the most controversial issues of our time. While it is often discussed in terms of the political and economic implications, Grande, with this brilliant debut novel and her own profound insider's perspective, puts a human face on the subject. Who are the men, women, and children whose lives are affected by the forces that propel so many to risk life and limb, crossing the border in pursuit of a better life?
Take the journey Across a Hundred Mountains and see.
"Grande, a 2003 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, turns in a topical and heartbreaking border story for her debut. Juana, 11, loses her baby sister in a flood, and the death sets off a chain of tragic events: her money-strapped father heads north from their small Mexican town for el otro lado; Juana's newborn baby brother is claimed by the town money lender; and Juana's mother descends into alcoholism and violence. At 14, Juana leaves to look for her father, from whom they have heard nothing. On her painstaking journey, she meets Adelina Vasquez, an American runaway working as a prostitute in Tijuana, who takes Juana in. The narrative switches off between young Juana's viewpoint, and that of Andelina, now 31 and a Los Angeles social worker, who returns to Mexico to find her own father and reunite with her mother. Grande's deft portraiture endows even the smallest characters with grace, and the two stories cross and re-cross in unexpected ways, driving toward a powerful conclusion. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z