The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

The House of Broken Angels

The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story, at once intimate and epic, from an acclaimed storyteller.In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader. Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighbo...

Details The House of Broken Angels

TitleThe House of Broken Angels
Release DateMar 6th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary

Reviews The House of Broken Angels

  • Elyse Walters
    I knew I wanted to read this book the minute I heard about it. A very special thanks to Goodreads friend, Truman. His passion and energy for this book had me jumping with my own excitement. “Big Angel, [patriarch of the family], was turning seventy. It felt very old to him. At the same time, it felt far too young. He had not intended to leave the party so soon. I’ve tried to be good, he told his invisible interviewer.” “His mother had m...
  • Debra
    "The entire history of his family, the world itself, the solar system and galaxy, swirled around him now in weird silence, and he felt blood dribbled down inside his body and the clock, the clock, chipped away at his existence."4.5 starsBig Angel (Miguel Angel De La Cruz) has invited his family to his home in San Diego to celebrate his last birthday. His Mother passed away a few days before his birthday, so the family has her funeral one day and ...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    5 epic family saga stars to The House of Broken Angels! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 I have found a new author to love. Luis Alberto Urrea is a storyteller, and that is the highest compliment I can give any author. Big Angel de la Cruz is the patriarch of his family, and he is dying. The book opens with him having to say goodbye to his mother at her funeral while also knowing he is living his last days. Big Angel recounts the story of his family and ...
  • Jen
    Marlin Brando move over - there is a new Godfather in town, the Mexican, Big Angel. Which is an ironic name as he is crippled with cancer and no longer the strong, mammoth man he was.This is the dying of a patriarch, who is getting ready to celebrate his last birthday. The very same weekend turns into a funeral as his 100 year old mother passes away. The party, however, must go on and the entire family mourns and celebrates the end of an era. His...
  • Diane S ☔
    A funeral, followed the next day by what is to be the last birthday party of the family's patriarch, Big Angel. Big Ange land little Angel, brothers from the same father but different mothers, Little Angels mother is white. A big, extended clan, this family, was difficult to keep track of who was who and who went with whom, but it didn't matter, the message is what counted. What it means to be American, to try to adapt to a new culture.Over the c...
  • Cheri
    ”Big Angel was late to his own mother’s funeral. “He tossed in his bed, the sheets catching his feet in a tangle. Sweat ticked his sides as he realized what was happening. The sun was up – it was bright through his eyelids. The burning pink world. Everybody else would be there before him. No. Not this. Not today. He struggled to rise.” ”Every morning since his diagnosis, he had the same thoughts. They were his alarm clock. How could ...
  • Bam
    Luis Urrea has joined the ranks of great American writers with his new novel, The House of Broken Angels. (Think John Steinbeck here--a worthy comparison). Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known as Big Angel, the patriarch of the family, is dying of cancer and wants to celebrate his last birthday with his extensive family, a blowout party...but first they must bury Grandma America who has so obligingly died first. Urrea writes about the Mexican-American ...
  • Rose (Traveling Sister)
    I'm calling it now: The House of Broken Angels will likely be my favorite book of 2018 and has worked its way into my Top 5 contemporary novels. It poured a steady stream of cement in me as I read, and several days later, it's still drying. I'm left weighed down yet so very elevated by it. I don't even know what to do with myself.Having read Oscar Wao a couple weeks ago, I obviously read Urrea's book holding a ruler up to Diaz's masterpiece, whic...
  • Linda
    "All believed Big Angel's smile because they needed to. Because they had always believed him. Because he was the law."There are many, many tributaries over many, many years that flow over rutted landscapes and drought-filled pockets. They spread wide and far and in a multitude of unplanned directions seeking distance, and at the same time, longing for familiarity. They ebb and flow from a certain source and a certain essence. And that particular ...
  • Truman32
    It’s ridiculous how much I liked Luis Alberto Urrea’s new novel House of Broken Angels. This book made me laugh so forcefully that I alarmed the people in the DMV sitting next to me. No doubt they feared the inevitable final collapse of my sanity was at hand. It made me weep so vigorously that the Stop and Shop cashier forgot to scan my double coupons, and the bagger (in such a rush to hand me her hankie) bagged my loaf of ciabatta beneath th...
  • Faith
    The dying patriarch of an extended Mexican-American family has one last birthday party on the day after his mother's funeral. The immigrant experience, happy memories, dark secrets, sibling rivalries and old grievances are explored. The writing was colorful and there was humor, poignancy and a realistic representation of a family. However, I would have preferred a more linear plot and I found that extended family confusing. I could have used a fa...
  • Lorna
    The House of Broken Angels is a beautiful and heartwarming tale of three generations of a Mexican and Mexican-American family taking place between La Paz, Tijuana and San Diego with the Mexican-American border in the mix. Patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately known as "Big Angel" is dying, and has summoned all of his family to celebrate his seventieth and last birthday. However his mother, Mama America, has just died resulting in her ...
  • Taryn Pierson
    I have to admit, this one took me a while to get into. The de La Cruz family is big, so there are lots of characters to keep track of through multiple generations. On top of that, the storyline shifts from past to present, to further in the past, and back again. I was working so hard to keep track of who everyone was, I didn’t have much headspace left for what Urrea was doing on a deeper level.Something happened though in the last third of the ...
  • Laura
    This book was a random pick for me after seeing the author would be attending the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. I am so glad I took a chance on this one. This seemed authentic, genuine, and very honest. I look forward to seeing the author discuss this in one of the literary panels. Pick this one up, so worth the time. Great title, too! I am still laughing over the drunk, escape artist bird!Update:10/13 rights sold to Hollywood. Author ...
  • kglibrarian
    A touching novel that follows the patriarch of a complex Mexican-American family as he faces his final days of life. Infused with Spanish phrases, cultural dishes, and vivid Mexican landscapes, Urrea highlights the importance of heritage and family loyalty, while also depicting the realistic hardships that immigration and class status present. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and moving.
  • Libby
    Well, of course, I loved this book, but then my beautiful daughter-in-law is hispanic, born in Tijuana, and replanted here in North Carolina, when my son returned to his home state in 2008. I visited their ‘garage kingdom’ in 07' when they were living in her parent's attached garage in San Diego. So many things that Luis Alberto Urrea writes about in ‘The House of Broken Angels,’ I saw while I was there. The border crossing, the border pa...
  • Ken
    Finished over spring break. A big, bodacious Mexican-American family, mainly chronicled through the eyes of a dying patriarch. Almost made-for-TV, the personalities in this crew, with numerous flashbacks to provide well-spaced exposition. Saved from mill comma run-of-the by some sterling writing in parts. That is, some poetic prose. A worthy read, all in all.
  • Nancy
    Oh, my--this book! I was overwhelmed by this boisterous, complicated, colorful family gathered for the funeral of their matriarch and the last birthday of her son Big Angel, who is dying of cancer.As I read, this family took residence in my heart. They were not so unlike my own family. I remembered the large family gatherings of my childhood; we have our 'colorful' characters, too. My cousins and I are are too quickly becoming the oldest generati...
  • Chrissie
    Sorry to be a party-pooper, but to say I like this book or even that it is OK would be a downright lie! I have disliked it from start to finish.The language, the sprawling number of characters and the drippy ending all displeased me immensely. Problems are resolved and tied up neatly with a bow. That forgiveness and redemption is plastered on at the end is not to my taste.The setting of the story is San Diego. We are at the funeral of Big Angel...
  • PorshaJo
    Review to come.
  • Janet
    4.5 really.A big hearted, feel good novel about two brothers. Big Angel and Little Angel. Luis’s fans will recognize him as Little Angel and will relish this story of Big Angel’s death which is truly more about his life. I laughed and I cried.At the same time that Luis is relating this boisterous family saga, he is also making a political statement about the ridiculousness of borders when family has moved fluidly for decades. The parrot story...
  • Toni
    Pure poetry! Listening to Luis Alberto Urrea narrate his story with such beautiful passion is an experience you do not want to miss!The hilarious, sad and emotional saga of an immigrant family told by the family patriarch, now dying of cancer at age 70. This could be any of our ancestors, from a multitude of ethnicities, as far back as the early settlers to present day. Maybe our grandparents didn't have to cross a river but I bet their trip to A...
  • Jill
    Luis Alberto Urrea's latest book is about our better angels and how the guide us to purpose and meaning. "All we do, mija," the oldest brother, Big Angel, says, "is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death."Miguel Angel de la Cruz - aka Big Angel - is dying and he wants one last big birthday party. His entire huge and rambunctious family, including Little Angel - the son from his father's second life and a stand-on for L...
  • Kate Olson
    (AUDIOBOOK) Oh my goodness. I laughed, I gasped in shock, I cried, and I thought long and hard about what it means to die with a life well-lived. The narration for this was FABULOUS - it was read by the author and it was perfection. This is a story of immigration, but it's ultimately a story of family, marriage and the bonds that hold us together. I won't forget this one for a long, long time.
  • Alison Hardtmann
    It's a lot harder to review a book I loved than one that I found flawed. And so I've put off reviewing The House of Broken Angels for a week now. Luis Alberto Urrea has filled this novel with a loud, boisterous extended family, brought together for a birthday celebration, let the reader see each character's struggles, flaws and dreams and then knit that all together into a novel with a great deal of heart. Big Angel is dying, but he has one last ...
  • Wyndy
    Did I love this book? Sort of, at times. Did I appreciate the simple writing and well-etched characters? Absolutely. Will I read more Urrea? Yes. If you like novels about extended, complicated families with all their foibles and charms, this is your book. This is my first by Urrea, and I like his style, so I'll be searching out his other novels. But this fell a little flat for me - overly dramatic and overly long.The de La Cruz clan has gathered ...
  • Kalen
    So much love for this book. Urrea writes about family like no one else. It's funny, it's sad, it speaks truth. Along with The Water Museum, this is up there with my favorite Urrea books.
  • Kim
    4.5 stars. Well that was something special. Highly recommend the audio version narrated by the author himself. He does a fantastic job, beautiful storyteller.
  • Barbara
    Big Angel, the patriarch, is dying. The description of this book describes the family as sprawling, which is the same adjective I thought of throughout my reading. It is not a linear story. It uses a familiar structure for Latino narratives which is to tell a story by relating each step of the way with detailed narratives about family members. And family "members" aren't always related by blood. There is the "cousin" who is just a wannabe cousin ...
  • Kathleen
    Urrea has invited the reader to meet the de la Cruz family. The dying patriarch Miguel Angel ‘Big Angel’ has delayed the funeral of his mother, so that it takes place the day before his 70th birthday party. All the family has been invited—relatives from Mexico, California and his half-brother ‘Little Angel’ from Seattle. Oh, and the reader too! And just like any family gathering that includes multi-generations, and swirling conversation...