It is hard to believe that Luis Alberto Urrea was able to pack so much into 300-odd pages. Taking place over the course of just one weekend, ranging from the mundane to the sublime and the salacious, through all the highs and lows of a family across generations and spanning two countries, this is a tale of archetypes and individuals, a sweet and moving story.— Sara, Atlanta
When Big Angel De La Cruz, the revered patriarch of a large Mexican family based in San Diego, is diagnosed with advanced cancer and given just weeks to live, he envisions his upcoming birthday party as an opportunity to bring his family together for one last goodbye. Luis Alberto Urrea’s beautiful, funny, and stirring portrait of the De La Cruz family’s gathering, with all their complex intricacies and woven histories, is a celebration of love, life, and family that dazzles and warms with its always present tenderness and humor.— Ryan, Chicago ORD
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, transforming the weekend into a farewell doubleheader. 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. 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.