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".
©2013 Reyna Grande (P)2013 AudioGO
I think this is a dynamic and well-written book, but I made the mistake of buying on Audible instead of reading the book myself. Big mistake. The reader has a hideous sing-songy disturbingly fake Mexican accent and mispronounces so many words in Spanish throughout the reading from beginning to end, that I would actually like my money back.
It's not the author but AUDIBLE, whose standards for English/Spanish readers is pathetic and embarrassing. Get competent reader forgodsakes!
ANYONE who can read well and pronounce Spanish (Mexican Spanish, please!) competently without using some stereotyped Mexican accent. I think it was unethical and unprofessional of the reader to accept this assignment, and speaks loads about Audible's lack of attention to it's growing English/Spanish bilingual readership. Get a clue, Audible!
Disappointed in Audible
Reyna Grande is an incredible talent, but the narration is completely incompatible with the story style. The narrator is flat and with no Spanish-language pronunciation. It honestly sounds as if you are hearing this story through your car's GPS system.
Another narrator should have been selected.
The book is not the problem. The narration makes it very difficult to listen and become absorbed in this wonderful immigration story.
I loved the story. It captivated me from beginning to end. I couldn't wait to get in my car and see what the Grandes were up to.
I very much enjoyed how Reyna Grande allowed me to be there at every important moment, seeing what she saw, feeling what she felt, even during the darkest moments.
It really depends. I think she did a fine job, except when she tried to say the Spanish words. I literally cringed every time she tried to say something in Spanish. She even messed up Sandra Cisneros name. It would have been much more enjoyable if the person narrating it would have been able to pronounce the Spanish words correctly. I almost quit listening to it...had the storyline not been good...I would have.
Great memoir from the beginning till the end. I don't really like reading but I enjoyed reading this book, because I can relate in many ways. It has also opened my eye wider to see and understand what my people have been going through for so many years; in hopes for a better life. Thanks to my English 103 professor Ms. Hernandez at East Los Angeles college for choosing this book for us to read and also thanks to Reyna for writing it. Keep up the good work. "Si Se Puede"!!!
Yes, it was a captivating story that held my attention and opened my heart and my mind.
The authors honesty!
She gave the author a voice--and a good one!
YES! But I couldn't!
My grandparents made the Ultimate sacrifice from Mexico, and my whole childhood I saw Immigrations reaction to my ppl coming to America, and the effect for the children left behind in America bcs their parents r deported... I love listening to Reyna's stories... feels to familiar
Yes, I could not stop listening
Renyna Grande's story of her life is an inspiration to all.
Inspirational, emotional, vivid
I found Reyna's story tragic as it was inspirational - the longing of a young girl to belong to a family, to hold on to anything at all after her childhood was constantly in uphieval
Yes. This book was so sad, but by no means self-pitying or self-agrandising. I could see the poverty through Reyna and Mago's eyes when they traveled back to Mexico.
This book is well worth the time, money or credit. It focuses primarily on Reyna's childhood, but touches on her experiences as a teenager and young adult trying to make her way in the world. Even some family members who are despised due to their choices that created so much chaos become three-dimmentional, growing even as Reyna and her siblings did.
It is moving, neither wallowing in self-pity nor waving banners of "see how much I've overcome!" I hope Audible will publish Miss Grande's novels, as she is a wonderful writer.
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