Across a Hundred Mountains

Reyna Grande, Author . Atria $23 (259p) ISBN 978-0-7432-6957-5

Grande, a 2003 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, turns in a topical and heartbreaking border story for her debut. Juana, 11, loses her baby sister in a flood, and the death sets off a chain of tragic events: her money-strapped father heads north from their small Mexican town for el otro lado ; Juana's newborn baby brother is claimed by the town money lender; and Juana's mother descends into alcoholism and violence. At 14, Juana leaves to look for her father, from whom they have heard nothing. On her painstaking journey, she meets Adelina Vasquez, an American runaway working as a prostitute in Tijuana, who takes Juana in. The narrative switches off between young Juana's viewpoint, and that of Andelina, now 31 and a Los Angeles social worker, who returns to Mexico to find her own father and reunite with her mother. Grande's deft portraiture endows even the smallest characters with grace, and the two stories cross and re-cross in unexpected ways, driving toward a powerful conclusion. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4165-3418-1
Paperback - 266 pages - 978-0-7432-6958-2
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