The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

americansHello again! I actually finished this book about a week ago but was on vacation and decided not to bring my computer. I was mad at myself for not bringing it after I finished the book because I like to write reviews within 24 hours of finishing a novel. Mostly because it is fresh on my mind and my feelings towards the book are clearer. Books can be like relationships: the more time you spend away from it, the more you forget all the stuff you hated about it. Anyways, here is the most accurate review I can give.

The Books of Unknown Americans follows a family of new immigrants to the United States. Alma and Arturo are glad to have found work in the United States because they believe the education there will help their daughter, Maribel, who has been in a bad accident. This book is about the struggles of living in a new place and being an outsider. It is about the hope and extreme sacrifices parents will make for their children. And it is about the ability to forgive not only others, but yourself. With alternating points of view between characters, Henriquez will put you in the shoes of all walks of life and give you a better understanding of what it means to be an American.

Honestly, I really did enjoy this book. I am a huge fan of multilateral literature and I enjoy seeing new perspectives. I found Henriquez’s writing style to be comical at times, hard-hitting and entertaining. This isn’t a novel you pick up because you just want to read. It is a novel you grab when you want to think and explore. I think what is most fascinating is that there isn’t one single story line. Actually, there are lots of things happening and in the end you realize why they all matter. Essentially, it is lifelike. We all have a million different things going on and they often affect each other. Overall, I give this book a four out of five. It is a novel many people can enjoy and gain something from.


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