This first week of summer school was really tough. I am in class 8am to 5:10pm every day, expect Fridays. Monday and Wednesday I only have a one hour break during the day. Plus there’s my online calculus class to deal with when I get home. At the end of day I trudge the 4 long avenue blocks from school towards my subway station, carrying my textbooks, computer, notebooks, and lab books; feeling tired, hungry, lonely, and worn out. I finally get to the subway and have to juggle said textbooks and computer without dropping everything to get into my wallet for my MetroCard, then there’s always at least at 10 minute wait for the R train, even during rush hours. Then, finally! The train comes, and I get to sit down and read. I was so happy to have this book to read. A book is a friend after a long day.
Funny how in my last entry I was worried I would not have time to read during my commute because of school, and then I finished Into the Beautiful North in 4 days. Because really, reading about physics, chemistry or calculus at 7am while I’m in the train the morning? Turns out that is impossible. And reading about physics, chemistry or calculus on the train ride back home after I’ve spend 8 hours studying physics, chemistry and calculus? Also impossible.
Luis Alberto Urrea is one of my favorite authors. I read his blog on a regular basis and I have the link in my side bar so all you 3 people who read this blog can also read his. I was really looking forward to this book after reading and loving The Devil’s Highway and The Hummingbird’s Daughter, and I was not disappointed. Into the Beautiful North is about a group of friends from a rural southern Mexican village who realize that there are no more men left in their town. They travel to the United States to recruit a group of men and bring them back to their village. It sounds like a far-fetched idea for a book, but it works. Urrea writes about sad and difficult situations with love, humor and optimism. His characters are feisty, funny and likable. This was a quick, satisfying read. I was sad to see it end. Here’s a YouTube clip of Urrea discussing the inspiration for this novel: