The Family Izquierdo

Blackstone Audio. Sept. 2022. 8:02 hrs. ISBN 9798212189330. $19.95. F
YA author Degollado’s (Throw) adult fiction debut follows three generations of Izquierdos, a large and lively family living in McAllen, TX, just seven miles from the U.S./Mexico border. According to the Izquierdos, they did not cross over the border—the border crossed over them. Family progenitors Papa Tavo and Abuelita believe that they have been cursed with bad luck, thanks to their neighbor Contreras, who is jealous of their successful family and business. Degollado keeps the pace moving with vignettes that span decades and highlight various branches of the family. A full cast of narrators, including Rogelio T. Ramos, Thom Rivera, Kyla Garcia, Frankie Corzo, Roxanne Hernandez, and Carolina Hoyos, voice different points of view, each speaking English and Spanish as fluently as the family members themselves. Passages of untranslated Spanish are peppered throughout, but the narrators are so expressive that listeners will be able to sense the author’s intent, even without a translation. The story does not flow linearly, but listeners will connect with the Izquierdos and love every rowdy celebration.
VERDICT A glorious and sprawling tale of a family living close to the border, perfect for fans of Luis Alberto Urrea’s The House of Broken Angels.
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