THE HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS is, as Urrea describes it, “the story of an American family—one that happens to speak Spanish and admire the Virgin of Guadalupe. Imperfect and glorious, messy and hilarious, sometimes heroic.” Inspired by the death of his brother, Urrea’s novel mines his own family history to tell a once-in-a-lifetime tale, simultaneously intimate in its detail and grand in its scope. Miguel Angel De La Cruz, aka “Big Angel,” is dying. The beloved and rapidly declining patriarch of the De La Cruz clan, he assembles his relatives for a final, epic birthday bash. Days before the party, however, his mother, nearly a hundred herself, passes away, resulting in a hefty farewell fete. Over the course of one weekend, the family members reminisce under the San Diego sun and stars, sharing stories about growing up in Mexico, leaving Mexico, and making a home in the U.S.

No matter where you live, whether you were born in the U.S. or grew up elsewhere, this affectionate, passionate, flawed family will likely remind you in some way of your own. And novels like THE HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS—offering clarifying insight into the daily lives, the trials and triumphs, of Mexican-Americans—are especially needed today. We believe it’s a beautiful masterwork worthy of your close attention, and look forward to touching base with you about it in the near future.

Photo credit: Joe Mazza | Brave Lux