Luis Alberto Urrea's "The House of Broken Angels" is a tapestry of a novel. You follow all these little threads—the lives of the de la Cuz family members, coming together for the last birthday of their patriarch, Big Angel—as they weave together, in and out of each other's stories, until you step back and see the big, beautiful, sprawling finished product. This novel will make you laugh, cry, and move you with its meditations on death, family, redemption, and the timely idea of just what it means to be American in this day and age. This is an immigrant story, an American story, and a story about messy, wonderful families with messy, wonderful stories of their own.
"Brilliant . . . Exceptional . . . The House of Broken Angels hums with joy." --NPR "A big, messy, warmhearted epic . . . Generous to the last breath." --Entertainment Weekly "Filled with intelligence and wickedly funny cultural commentary, the story builds to an electrifying finale." -- People Magazine Book of the Week "Humane and often laugh-out-loud hilarious." --O: The Oprah Magazine From a Pulitzer Prize finalist comes a powerful and unforgettable portrait of one Mexican American family and the American dream "One of the most vivid and engrossing family epics of the last twenty years."--Dave Eggers "All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death." In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. Among the guests is Big Angel's half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life. Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many inspiring tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought these citizens to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home. The story of the de La Cruzes is the quintessential American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. It takes us into a world we have not known, while reflecting back the hopes and dreams of our own families. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.
About the Author
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonficiton The Devil's Highway, Luis Alberto Urrea is also the bestselling author of the novels The Hummingbird's Daughter, Into the Beautiful North, and Queen of America, as well as the story collections The Water Museum, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. He has won the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award, and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, he lives outside of Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago.