I loved “The House of Broken Angels” by Luis Alberto Urrea. The story is about the dying of a Mexican American family patriarch. Big Angel has cancer and only days to live. His mom has just passed away and now his turn is next.
This book is narrated from Big Angel’s perspective. It is one of retrospection of all his regrets and failures. Losses that were not remedied right away and then lingered for years after until nothing could be done to restore the relationship. Or so he thought.
The story is one of reconciliation. Healing between brothers, fathers and sons, of forgiveness and restoration. It is interesting how the end of one’s life makes us reflect on all the unfinished business that has been put off for years. For me, it makes me want to hold short accounts, to be quick to forgive, to be a peacemaker, but not an enabler.
There were some mature themes, frequent use of inappropriate language in Spanish and English. There was drug use and violence. It was not an easy book to read. However, I felt like some of what Mr. Urrea added was mostly to bring into reality some of the challenges of being a first generation immigrant are like. It all felt very believable and not farfetched at all.
If you can get past some of the mature content, I definitely recommend this book. It was a great read!