The Affairs of the Falcónsby Published 02 Apr 2019
|The Affairs of the Falcóns.pdf|
Ana Falcón, along with her husband Lucho and their two young children, has fled the economic and political strife of Peru for a chance at a new life in New York City in the 1990s. Being undocumented, however, has significantly curtailed the family’s opportunities: Ana is indebted to a loan shark who calls herself Mama, and is stretched thin by unceasing shifts at her factory job. To make matters worse, Ana must also battle both criticism from Lucho’s cousin—who has made it obvious the family is not welcome to stay in her spare room for much longer—and escalating and unwanted attention from Mama’s husband.
As the pressure builds, Ana becomes increasingly desperate. While Lucho dreams of returning to Peru, Ana is deeply haunted by the demons she left behind and determined to persevere in this new country. But how many sacrifices is she willing to make before admitting defeat and returning to Peru? And what lines is she willing to cross in order to protect her family?
The Affairs of the Falcóns Reviews
Fleeing violence in Peru in the 1990s, Ana and her family live as undocumented migrants in NYC. Every day in her life is a struggle. Financial struggles occupy most of Ana’s life, but there is also the struggle to come to terms with her mother and father’s deaths and learn to trust anyone but herself. This is not a feel-good story, but it does highlight the determination and hope of some immigrant families. Great writing and sharp dialogue. 3.5⭐️ rounded up.
A timely and emotional glimpse into the pressures and stress of the immigrant experience. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Ana and Lucho Falcon, along with their two children, have fled the unrest of 1990s Peru for New York City; however, they are undocumented. This means they have far fewer opportunities to create a better life.
Ana works long hours for little pay at a factory and owes a loan shark money. In addition, she and her family are living with Lucho’s cousin, and the welcome mat is being worn thin. The spare room will no longer be available to them. At the same time, the loan shark is getting more upset about the lack of payments.
Desperation builds for Ana. She wants to stay in United States while Lucho dreams of going home. Her family is in more financial and physical danger here than she ever anticipated. How far is she willing to go to continue her efforts at a new life for her family?
The Affairs of the Falcons is a timely look at immigration, including those who live here with fear, stress, and abject desperation. This book is so insightful, so honest and raw, I felt the stress along with the family. One domino after another starts to line up and then topple for this family. Can they ever get the momentum of that to not only stop, but to turn around and have a chance at a successful and base level need, safe, life?
While I felt some of the feelings of the family because they are so well-drawn by the author, I could never truly know that fear, that hunger. My heart broke over and over for the Falcons. In an attempt to leave terrorism in their own country, they came to a new country where one intense fear was replaced by another.
Overall, The Affairs of the Falcons is a memorable and powerful story that left an indelible mark on me.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
I liked this story. Immigrants from Peru (some legal, some not) move to New York City to find the American dream. But they realize it isn't easy, especially when they are preyed upon by their own kind.
There was a lot of telling in this novel, instead of showing. Even with that though, some of this was beautifully written. I liked the authors use of words as times. I liked this one, but I didn't love it....so 3 stars.
• an immigrant story with so much realness
• flawed characters - all of them
• Ana - MC is faced with difficult decision after difficult decision. But she doesn’t need your sympathy or pity.
• 1990s Peru - NYC everyone is try to make their own way
One of the best debuts I've ever read. Had me hooked by the first sentence (it's about a little girl slaughtering a chicken).
A blurb on the back of the book calls The Affairs of the Falcóns "a book we urgently need now", a take which I very much agree with as I sit here turning the final page.
A woman and her family's immigration journey from a dangerous conflict-ridden Peru to a vibrant New York City in the early 1990's: all of their heartaches, their disappointments, their paranoia, their fears; their hopes and their dreams, too, colorfully told in prose that is both readable and full of boundless emotion on every level.
When we see and hear about families torn apart at the US-Mexican border, or elsewhere in the world, our hearts sigh, but it soon passes as we continue on with our own lives, our own troubles. On a planet so desensitized to violence, the victims and their stories fade and blend together--a refugee woman being reunited with her trauma-sickened child--another sad statistic soon forgotten by most of the world.
"Son ilegales, Ana."
Her stomach clenched. "I know what we are, Valeria. But we’re not going anywhere. My children aren’t going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere. We came here as a family and we’re staying as a family. I’ll keep sewing curtains and wiping toilet seats if I have to, and so will Lucho." She held on as her stomach settled. "But we’re not leaving."
But stories like this force us to remember. Whether in our own backyards or on the other side of the world, the very least we can do is listen to their stories, and and not let them be forgotten. By reading Ana's story, though fictional, I was knocked right off of my "white privilege box" and was reminded of how lucky I really am, despite my own struggles.
She was safe now, she told herself. They were safe. Yet as she looked at her own reflection in the mirror, she wondered when she’d ever stop running.
Despite the major differences between Ana and myself, I found it easy to slip into her shoes. Her inner dialogue, when taken out of context, often synced up with my own. She has a quiet fierceness flowing through her motherly instincts, like a jungle cat ready to pounce, only when absolutely necessary.
That is what kept her going: her ability to change, to evolve. To try again. That was the point of it all. She could keep trying, no matter her mistakes or the mistakes of others. There was always room for change. She could always start over.
I feel a little insignificant after finishing this novel, but I rather suppose that is one of its points: we are all the same. There are no others, no one is neither illegal nor legal. We all belong here and we all have a right to seek out a happier, safer spot in our troubled, cold world.
We're all human: running amok all over a big rock floating through space, making up rules and searching for meaning.
Sometimes, I think that meaning is as simple as sharing our story.
4.75 // 5 stars
Edit:I decided to round down my rating from 5 to 4 stars. I wrote this immediately after finishing late at night, and after sleeping, I realized it didn't quite deserve all five stars compared to some other favorites I've discovered recently.
The main reason, while I realize it may seem disrespectful to some, especially to native Spanish speakers, is that I really think the book would benefit from either having a glossary or footnotes. I got by on the two short years Spanish lessons that I took, but having to put down the book to look up a word was tiring after a few dozen times.
This is a story I think is so important for others to read, and I only wish that it were more accessible to readers of all backgrounds and languages.