A compelling, timely read that puts a face on dire poverty and the untold consequences of immigration on the most vulnerable, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US is already touching hearts, and minds.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Then Mago touched my belly button . . . She said that my umbilical cord was like a ribbon that connected me to Mami. She said, “It doesn’t matter that there’s a distance btween us now. That cord is there forever.”
When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother.
The three siblings are forced to look out for themselves; in childish games they find a way to forget the pain of abandonment and learn to solve very adult problems. When their mother at last returns, the reunion sets the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Reyna’s young life: her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.
In this extraordinary memoir, award-winning writer Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years, capturing all the confusion and contradictions of childhood, especially one spent torn between two parents and two countries. Elated when she feels the glow of her father’s love and approval, Reyna knows that at any moment he might turn angry or violent. Only in books and music and her rich imaginary life does she find solace, a momentary refuge from a world in which every place feels like “El Otro Lado.”
The Distance Between Us captures one girl’s passage from childhood to adolescence and beyond. A funny, heartbreaking, lyrical story, it reminds us that the joys and sorrows of childhood are always with us, invisible to the eye but imprinted on the heart, forever calling out to us of those places we first called home.
A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Best Book of the Week": http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/book-news/tip-sheet/article/53687-pw-picks-the-best-new-books-for-the-week-of-august-27-2012.html
USA TODAY calls it one of the "hottest" books of the week in its "New and Noteworthy" book section: http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/story/2012-08-24/new-and-noteworthy-gerritsen-rizzoli-isles/57292218/1
“In this poignant memoir about her childhood in Mexico, Reyna Grande skillfully depicts another side of the immigrant experience—the hardships and heartbreaks of the children who are left behind. Through her brutally honest firsthand account of growing up in Mexico without her parents, Grande sheds light on the often overlooked consequence of immigration—the disintegration of a family.”
—Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Enrique's Journey
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:“A brutally honest book…akin to being the “Angela’s Ashes” of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.” –LA Times
"Captivates and inspires . . . . Tracing the complex and tattered relationships binding the family together. --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review).
"A standout immigrant coming-of-age story." —Kirkus
The poignant yet triumphant tale [Grande] tells of her childhood and eventual illegal immigration puts a face on issues that stir vehement debate. —Booklist
See a video of Reyna discussing her book on Los Angeles' KTLA News: