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The Far Away Brothers

Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)
Regular price: $28.00
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Publisher's Summary

The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador's violence to build new lives in California - fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong.

Growing up in rural El Salvador in the wake of the civil war, Ernesto Flores had always had a fascination with the United States, the distant land of skyscrapers and Nikes, while his identical twin, Raul, never felt that northbound tug. But when Ernesto ends up on the wrong side of the region's brutal gangs, he is forced to flee the country, and Raul, because he looks just like his brother, follows close behind - away from one danger and toward the great American unknown.

In this urgent chronicle of contemporary immigration, journalist Lauren Markham follows the 17-year-old Flores twins as they make their harrowing journey across the Rio Grande and the Texas desert, into the hands of immigration authorities, and from there to their estranged older brother's custody in Oakland, CA. Soon these unaccompanied minors are navigating a new school in a new language, working to pay down their mounting coyote debt, and facing their day in immigration court while also encountering the triumphs and pitfalls of life as American teenagers - girls, grades, Facebook - with only each other for support. With intimate access and breathtaking range, Markham offers a coming of age tale that is also a nuanced portrait of Central America's child exodus, an investigation of US immigration policy, and an unforgettable testament to the migrant experience.

©2017 Lauren Markham (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

A Fall 2017 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection

Silver winner of the California Book Award

"This brilliantly reported book goes so deeply into the lives of its protagonists and is so beautifully, movingly written it has some of the pleasures of a novel - but all the force of bitter truth, the truth about the lives of unaccompanied minors in the USA, about poverty, the ricocheting wars here and there, and the caprices and brutalities of immigration policy. Anyone who wants to understand more deeply how we got here and why we need to keep going until we get someplace better should dive into this book." (Rebecca Solnit, author of The Mother of All Questions)

"Timely and thought-provoking...Markham provides a sensitive and eye-opening take on what's at stake for young immigrants with nowhere else to go." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Terry
  • Princeton, NJ, United States
  • 10-10-17

Powerful insights of real migration issues!

Lauren wrote this story like a novel. It sucked me in, made me squirm, and triggered an aray of mixed emotions. She depicted the harsh reality of a migrate's home they run away from and the challenges faced in the world they escape to. Craftily written and narrated. I highly recommend!
“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A vivid portray of the external and internal challenges immigrants in America face

As an immigrant myself and a law student who works at an immigration law firm, I know a thing or two about the country conditions in many Latin American countries and the realities immigrants face. When I began reading this book, I could not put it down. Markham’s beautiful ability to balance the brothers’ personal story while also acknowledging the country conditions was impressive. Reading about the immigrant experience is always a humbling experience for me. While I have faced my personal trauma, I am certainly aware that I have been given countless opportunities that others will never have. That being said, I think what really sets this literature apart from other immigrant memoirs I’ve read was that she didn’t delicate the brothers as the “perfect victims” instead she allowed the reader to emphasize and relate to the brothers as we saw them face both external and internal challenges. I think it is important for people to understand that immigrants, regardless of their status are humans and deserve compassion.

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Must read, we must also do something

A remarkable story. Detailed family relations, agony, loss, suffering and triumph. Donald must be stopped and Ms Markham gives us a call to action. Let go!

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A wonderful read about America's immigration syste

This is a well-written book that not only tells the story of the Flores family , but also provides relevant statistics about America's immigration system.

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Terrific, important book and great audio recording

This book was a page turner in terms of story while also conveying a larger political and social context. It’s excellently written, and the audio was smooth, appealing, and convincing. Highly recommended.