The Affairs of the Falcons

Harper. Apr. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780062872357. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062872371. F
OrangeReviewStarDEBUT With no intention of jeopardizing her marriage, Ana does just that while trying to start a new life with her family in New York City. Eager to leave behind Peru, with its prejudices and lack of opportunity, she gets a job as a seamstress in a factory while husband Lucho drives a cab. Their two young children become friends with Michael, the son of Lucho's relatives Valeria and Ruben, with whom they are living. Having little money, no green cards, and in fact no legitimate documents, they have few options. The extended family's small apartment is crowded, and Valeria's insecurities cause serious problems for Ana. These issues become a major threat to Ana's dream when Valeria demands they move out. The ambitious Ana attempts singlehandedly to face Valeria's temper, her family's constantly increasing debts, an unwanted pregnancy, and the ever-present fear of deportation.
VERDICT Rivero's talent for storytelling and sympathetic portrayal of many characters propels this novel above the melodrama of the telenovelas that play in the background on Valeria's television. Book groups will thoroughly enjoy this vivid, inspired debut, a valuable addition to immigration literature. [See Prepub Alert. 10/14/18.]
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