Into the Beautiful North
by Luis Alberto Urrea
Published by Little Brown and Company
Luis Urrea is a master story teller at its best. He effortlessly interweaves mystery, intrigue, heartache, love and humor in a way that shows his true ingenuity as an author. In Into the Beautiful North he tells the story of Nayeli, and a group of her close friends and an adventure they are determined to live out. When they realize their town is lacking in male companions and defenders (after watching the Magnificent Seven) they take it into their own hands and head across the boarder to the US where so many of their men have gone for work with the intention of bringing some back. The town of Sinaloa is on the verge of being attacked by narcs and other such lawless men who have also been noticing the lack of men. Nayeli and her clan must be quick, but the boarder patrol has other plans for them.
Into the Beautiful North brought me from far away lands of wonder in little towns in Mexico to discovering even the country I live in under a new hue. The theme of illegal immigrants is a big one in this read, and I enjoyed that Luis Urrea refrained from putting himself on either side of the debate, mostly he just allows the reader to simply learn of details of illegals without feeling the need to defend ones stance. I like learning just through people, seeing the picture just a little better through someone elses' eyes, mostly the emotional side of it impacted me this time.
The plot and story are so fun and interesting to read but the characters are also very well developed, I enjoyed every second of Into the Beautiful North and I know I will be coming back to read more books by Luis Alberto Urrea very soon. I thought It was going to be a book of hardship and darkness, because so much international fiction seems to be used as a way to open the world's eyes to the deadliness of the world, this book was so far from gloomy while never neglecting reality. I applaud Urrea for this amazing novel, which shatters stereotypes of international fiction. Let me say though, that just because of the lightness of the book, that does not mean it is lacking in depth, the characters go through scary times.....but it is the overlying theme of endurance and purpose that strings the reader from page to page just to get to that very last drop. ENJOY!
Do you love international fiction too? Please share! Could you give me some other titles that are hopeful like Into the Beautiful North? I get the point of bringing up heaviness in novels, but after you have read a lot of them you either become jaded or you can't stop crying. Maybe that is just me, is it?
Oh, make sure you check back in for some author event photos of when I got to meet Luis Alberto Urrea in person! I'll give you the whole scoop on him, check back tomorrow.