Cristina Henriquez‘ The Book of Unknown Americans tells the story of the Rivera family who leave their happy home in Mexico to come to a dilapidated apartment building inhabited by other families who have immigrated from Central/South America looking for a better life. For the Riveras, they are sacrificing everything to get their 15 year old daughter Maribel who has recently suffered a traumatic brain injury into a special school.
This is indeed a marvelous book in which the stories of each of the apartment tenants is told to us. The main thread though is about the relationship between the Rivera and Toro families. We don’t realize how big the sacrifice is till the end. Unforgettable story, but very simple.
I will say this though. Mayor, a teenage boy central to the story, just made me so angry. I guess I should not be a parent to a teenage boy anytime soon.