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The Affairs of the Falcóns

by Melissa Rivero

The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero X
The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero
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  • Diane S. (Batavia, IL)
    The affairs of the falcons
    They came from Peru, settled in New York City, hoping to get lost in the crowds. They are some of the invisible people we encounter often, those that work the grills in our restaurants, do our landscaping, work in our factories and warehouses, clean our houses. Do all the jobs we no longer want to do. They are the undocumented, those without legal status in our country. For Ana and her husband, two children, it is a place where one can start over, have an opportunity , escape the censor and danger in their home country.

    Yet there is always the threats of deportation, of working so hard but for little money, of having to count every penny, of borrowing money, and then owing a harsh master. Where every little thing that goes wrong could spell disaster. Having to live with a family member and her family because you can not afford your own place. A family that doesn't want you there. Still, Ana is ever hopeful, if she could just work a few more hours, if her husband driving a cab could get a few additional pick ups. If, if, if.

    Ana is strong, tough, determined to keep her family together, but there are truths here she doesn't see until it might be too late. This book shows how perilous are the positions of those who come to our country, without papers, without green cards. How tenuous is their position, how careful they must be in the choices and the decisions they make. A very poignant story about a woman who is determined to succeed despite all the obstacles before her. A very human woman who only wants the same things we all do: a safe place to live, enough food, and a sense of security, a family. It also shows how easily these people are preyed on, how many willing to take advantage of those trying do hard but in need.

    Quite a story, one that certainly made an impression on me, one not easily forgotten.
  • Rosemary C. (Golden, CO)
    Realistic Story of an Undocumented Family
    Rivero writes compellingly about the experience of a family living in the United States without documentation. Her prose conveys the constant stress and instability that comes from living in the shadows and she creates sympathetic characters. I found the story engaging and realistic, the plight of the Falcons similar to other undocumented families I've known. This book would be a good selection for a book group, leading to some spirited conversations.
  • Kathleene M. (Running Springs, CA)
    Undocumented Struggle
    Leaving a country homeland to seek a dream for a better life is full of sacrifice, secrecy and despair to begin a long & complicated route to a new life.
    Desires to find solace & work with no legal documentation in an American city is scary.
    Many secrets kept hidden, but the most noticeable is trying to make a little subsistence to cover themselves with a roof over their heads, a place to lay their heads to sleep, and a table where they can eat. This day to day activity has to be done in secret.
  • Sandi W. (Illinois)
    Heart wrenching...
    Unsettled, desperate and heart wrenching, this story takes us into the lives of one undocumented immigrant family. Afraid to go home and afraid to stay, the Falcons are left living off family, struggling to find work, learning the language, avoiding crime and fitting into their new world. Turning to a loan shark Ana fears her undocumented status, along with the horrors she must face to remain in the United States. Looking for opportunity, running from danger, and striving to fit in, this story is the epitome of the immigrant population in today's world.

    Rivero's debut book has hit the heart of the plight of the immigrant population of today. She sees the obstacles and demands of the undocumented. She writes of their hopes and strong will, their struggles and fears, their tenacity to move above life's hardships and to push forward when that path is nothing but hard work and uncertainty. If Rivero continues to hit the mark, as she has done in this book, she will be an author in great demand.
  • Amy S. (Tucson, AZ)
    The Grass Isn't Always Greener...
    Ana finds that the better life she dreamed of for her family in the United States is not necessarily so. True, they are safe from rebels and the army and the racial discrimination so pervasive in Peru due to where one is born and what blood runs through veins. And yes, there is a greater opportunity for Ana and Lucho's children. But life as an undocumented immigrant IS NOT easy. There is no welfare check, no food stamps, no subsidized housing, no free insurance as some would have us believe. And a hidden existence leads to stress, worries, and constant fear. Relationships deteriorate as the sole focus becomes on survival. I appreciated this book very much for showing that getting to a "better" place is only half the battle--
  • Erica M. (Chicago, IL)
    A Story with Truth
    If I could, I would give this book a 4.5. It was well-written and had good charagcter development. It told the story of an undocumented family living in NYC. I felt as though I could easily have been reading a biography. It is both hopeful and sad. Never mentioned, but often in my mind was that the Falcons' children would grow up in America without documentation and without ever having made the choice to adopt this country. The book was rich with all of the dimensions of living a life unseen and yet with a history. I think that the only reason I did not give it a 5 was that in order to not give away the ending too soon, the author did not foreshadow enough and moved the story a little too slowly.
  • Julia A. (New York, NY)
    A Deeply Human Story
    The Affairs of the FalcĂłns puts a human face on the struggle of hard-working undocumented immigrants. This novel especially hit home for me, as a resident of New York City, which is where the action takes place. Yeas ago, I taught English to new immigrants, many of whom were undocumented, and all of whom worked hard for everything they got, just as Ana and Lucho do. The novel is especially timely, as opposing sides in the United States continue to debate immigration policy. By making us care about the characters, Rivero seeks to make us see the immigrants' side of the story, and for that I thank her. I found the ending particularly chilling. Book clubs with diverse membership from all sides of the political spectrum would have lively discussions if they made this novel their selection.

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