Monday, July 11, 2011

Esperanza Rising

Summary: Esperanza Ortega possesses all the treasures a young girl could want: fancy dresses; a beautiful home filled with servants in the bountiful region of Aguascalientes, Mexico; and the promise of one day rising to Mama’s position and presiding over all of El Rancho de las Rosas. 

But a sudden tragedy shatters that dream, forcing Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. There they confront the challenges of hard work, acceptance by their own people, and economic difficulties brought on by the Great Depression.  When Mama falls ill from Valley Fever and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must relinquish her hold on the past and learn to embrace a future ripe with the riches of family and community.

I thought this was a beautiful book! It's a sweet story about accepting what life throws at you without complaining and I loved all the historical elements. This is also based on the true story of the author's own grandmother. I thought the characters were all well-drawn, which made the story even more compelling. I wish it had been longer, actually, because I really enjoyed the whole reading experience. It's gone on my to-buy list (which, *sigh* is getting so long I've begun filling up an entire notebook with it, organized by genre).

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