Skip to main content

Book Review: The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez


One couple came to American to give their child a chance at a special school that promised to heal her. Another couple came to escape the devastation of war in their home country. Still others came to find a better life, to escape hardship and pain. What they found was a country that offered grand possibilities and seemingly insurmountable challenges. As they come together in a small apartment building in Delaware, these individuals and families share their stories and struggles amid a blossoming young love.

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez opens up the world of immigration in America from the point of view of the immigrants. There is much discourse on this topic, especially during an election cycle, but there's very little chance to see the situation from the view of those living in it every day. Henriquez tries to bring that view into the open through a wide range of characters. We mostly hear from Alma and Mayor, but many other characters share their point of view as well.

This novel brought to light many challenges that I hadn't thought of, and prompted an excellent discussion in my book club. It was hard, though, to completely relate to some of the situations the characters in this novel faced, particularly since my entire book club is made up of affluent white women! As an outsider observing these characters and their decisions, it is easy to fall back on my attitude that a little more planning and thinking before acting would have made life a lot easier in some cases. I do think this was more limited to certain characters, like Alma, who drove me crazy.

I would highly recommend The Book of Unknown Americans to book clubs as long as you're up for a potentially controversial discussion.

My rating: 3/5

Discussion questions

This review was written based on a copy of The Book of Unknown Americans that I borrowed from a friend.

Comments

  1. Loved this book. It emphasizes the struggle of immigrants in a new country and the challenges they face whether they come here for medical services, opportunities or running from unstable governments. It's a lesson you should read.

    Penelope
    Ketterman Rowland & Westlund

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mundie Moms are hosting the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate.

To stick with the theme of Independence Day, I'm doing what I did last year for this hop:

I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States.
It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from Book Depository.

The contest ends on Thursday, July 5th at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be notified by e-mail. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a safe and fun holiday!

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now check out all of the other giveaways you can enter at the links below!

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Leap into Books Giveaway Hop!

This week, I'm participating in the Leap into Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I'm a Reader, Not a Writer.

I'm giving away a book of your choice 
up to $10 from Book Depository.
It's that simple. Just visit  Book Depository and choose any book that is selling for $10 or less.

This giveaway is open to international entries as long as Book Depository ships to your address (click here to check). The contest ends on Monday, March 5, 2012, at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be picked using Random.org and notified by e-mail. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. To enter, just leave a comment telling me what book you want to win.

Check out all the other participants in the giveaway hop!