cover image A Dream Called Home

A Dream Called Home

Reyna Grande. Atria, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5011-7142-0

Novelist Grande (The Distance Between Us) writes with strength and passion of her life’s journey—from her birth in a shack in the poverty-stricken Mexican town of Iguala, to success as an author in the U.S. The memoir opens with Grande leaving Los Angeles to attend UC Santa Cruz at age 21, on her way to becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree; her parents, both naturalized citizens, were not educated beyond elementary school. Grande then recounts her difficult childhood: her parents divorced and left her with her grandmother in Mexico; at age nine, after two failed attempts, Grande made it across the border with the aid of her father, who returned from the U.S. to help her and two older siblings get to L.A. She worked hard in school, graduated with honors from college, and landed a teaching job in L.A. Grande explores the complicated relationships of her uprooted family, dissecting a history of abuse (her grandmother verbally and physically abused her mother, who in turned abused Grande and her siblings) and vowing to break the cycle. After winning a PEN fellowship, marrying, and publishing her first novel, Grande discovered that writing her story could help her make sense of her troubled past and gain the courage to create a stable life for herself and her new family. This uplifting story of fortitude and resilience looks deeply into the complexities of immigration and one woman’s struggle to adapt and thrive in America. (Oct.)