As Latinx heritage month comes to a close I thought I would share my thoughts on the books I have read for this month.
Don’t Date Rosa Santos has a special place in my heart. I really loved this book because of it’s small town setting. Because Rosa grows up in Port Corral she knows everyone in town and is a very helpful neighbor. The small town in this book reminded me of Star Hallows and I hope to someday find a small town like this. Additionally, the fact that the love interest Alex is both a sailor and a baker made me just as happy.
We Set the Dark on Fire is a book that I didn’t know I needed into my life until I read it. A dystopian, romance and spy narrative, We Set the Dark on Fire is all of these things. I really loved this because the main character Dani is such a bad bitch! Dani really tries to follow the rules of her society but when her husband decides he rather have a trophy wife and not an equal it really pushes Dani to turn against him. I really can’t wait to see what the next book has to offer.
Bruja Born is a book that I began reading at the beginning of the year was able to finish. Jumping back into this book was not difficult I love the world that Cordova has created and I will definitely read more of her books in the future.
Isabel Allende writing is beautiful and captivating. I loved the Trueba women in the house of the spirits especially Clara and her unknown dog/wolf/ mythical being hybrid Barrabas. That being said The House of the Spirits was not the book for me I really wanted to love this book and maybe I would have if Esteban wasn’t so much of a caca head.
Corazón was a book that felt like coming home. I loved Salgado’s descriptive writing and the little anecdotes of her daily life that she turns into poetry. I love the way that Yesika chose to share her corner of Los Angles with nostalgia and to what it is today.
After spending a whole month reading nothing but books written by Latinx authors I noticed that the border was a common theme between all these books. Even though Bruja Born and and We set the Dark on Fire are both fantasy novel there was still this presence of a border.
Although the border theme in Bruja Born is not presence in a way that one would conventional think. I argue that it is still very much presence. The supernatural creatures in this novel must not reveal themselves to humans, instead the brujas practice in secret. In this sense the Mortiz sister split themselves away from what they are as brujas in order to not draw attention to themselves. On top of that, the Mortiz family is latinx and also experience the struggles as people of color.
We Set the Dark Fire interweaves the border narrative into the novel with characters who have had to cross a border into Medio for better opportunities. However, during this crossing one of the characters witnessing something extremely traumatic while the other character remembers her own crossing and they both bond over it.
Rosa Santos lives with the small snippets that her grandmother has shared with her of Cuba and as she enters adulthood she dreams of one day visiting the Island that caused so much joy and sorrow for her family.
When a dictator takes control in Chile, Blanca and Pedro flee the country because it is no longer safe for Pedro, a communist sympathizer, to live there. Additionally, Alba is also given the opportunity to flee her country she decides to stay even though she is in danger as well.
Lastly, Salgado’s Corazón yearns for a El Salvador from her memories and a Silverlake before it was gentrified. Salgado remembers eating mangos in El Salvador and later eating them with her lover this common link between both countries is not coincidental. I believe Salgado links them together to highlight the longing for El Salvador.
This border theme is saddening and highlights that border trauma is something that runs through generations. After discovering this link between the novels I was reminded of Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands. In this book, Anzaldua offers many great points that resonated with me but the one quote that has stuck with me is as follows:
Have you noticed this theme or other themes during Latinx heritage month? If so leave your thoughts below in the comments I would love to read them.
Until next time continue living in libros,