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The Family Izquierdo

A Novel

by Rubén Degollado

The Family Izquierdo by Rubén Degollado X
The Family Izquierdo by Rubén Degollado
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  • Published Sep 2022
    304 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

    Paperback Original.
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There are currently 25 member reviews
for The Family Izquierdo
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  • Lizmarie, Erlanger, KY
    Family Life
    Ruben Degollado's debut collection of tightly linked short stories, The Family Izquierdo, is a masterpiece in both its construction and content. Short stories are not my favorite genre, but these are so well-written and so skillfully connected that each one flows seamlessly into the next, creating a compelling narrative. Each story focuses on richly drawn characters and defining events in the lives of three generations of one Mexican-American family in the Rio Grande Valley. Degollado writes with passion and deep respect for Izquierdo family members, their love, their faith, their imperfections and their grief. Readers will see their own families on each page. Book clubs will find many topics to discuss: cultural and religious values; relationships among siblings and between parents and children; the importance of family rituals and traditions; and the consequences of fear and grief.
  • Cassandra W. (Alameda, CA)
    Heart-lifting - a work of love, hope and authenticity. A short story collection of a multi-generational Mexican American family written with soul! An easy read.
  • Sue D
    The format of this book was a little off putting at first, but I grew to love the connected short story format, as that seems to be representative of this family's dynamic. They are a large and disparate bunch, but love each other fiercely, and even though they have difficulties, they persevere.
  • Susan W, Detroit, MI
    Do people hope things will never change?
    This book was captivating. It moved the characters and timeline along with its short story format, which I appreciated. At times I had difficulty with so much of the dialog being in Spanish, but eventually the rhythm of the story let me move past words I didn't know; it didn't seem to matter.

    The relationships of the family members were well captured. They felt personal to me, as an Asian American, yet anyone could relate to many of the characters. It was an intimate look into another culture and at times other faiths. The author firmly, yet delicately told the story of a multigenerational family, how their lives are bound together by more than just their culture. While this is not unique to people whose beliefs are full of superstition, the Izquierdo family struggles with holding onto their past and adapting to life in America at the same time. I am struck by this sentence, "Dina spends her days thinking about the past because she has always wanted to hold onto the present, hoping things would never change."

    I think this would be an excellent book club book.
  • Becky S. (Springfield, MO)
    What an interesting book told in separate stories but intertwining the Izquierdo family tree. A family living on the American border of Mexico, they suffer through their family "curse" with love and affection for each other. Even though they have many conflicts with the outside world and each other. I loved the Spanish used throughout the stories as it made them more authentic, and made me look things up as I read, so actually learned something new!
    I loved the generational tales and how the family members related to each other and especially to their Abuelito and Papa Tavo. Really an enjoyable read!
  • Diane S. (El Paso, TX)
    Very Enjoyable Read!
    Ruben Degollado paints a realistic family portrait of three generations headed by a patriarch and matriarch who emigrated to the United States from Mexico. Theirs is a story of family complete with joys, sorrows, love, grudges, illness, fun, closeness, loyalty and a CURSE! I especially enjoyed The Family Izquierdo because I've lived on the US/Mexico border for nearly all my life, and I appreciate the interplay of familial and cultural dynamics and the author's use of Spanish to tell the family's story. The book is a collection of short stories, but the author tied it together so well that I felt like I was reading a novel. Very enjoyable read!
  • Susan P. (Boston, MA)
    The Family Izquierdo
    This compelling linked-stories tale follows the Mexican-American Izquierdo family from the different points of view of hard-working and prosperous family members (father and mother and their 10 children and their children). They are generally very superstitious (many believing they have been cursed by a jealous enemy). But as this nemesis points out, "izquierdo" is Spanish for "left," possibly bringing about their own problems. Fascinating and loving look into the hearts of very decent people. (Learned a little Spanish in the process.) For anyone who likes a cultural education and some family drama. Would be great for book clubs.

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