March 20, 2011

Review: The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel by Brando Skyhorse

The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel

The Madonnas of Echo Park is a novel that gives us a glimpse into the lives of several Mexican Americans that live in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles from the 80's to now. Each chapter is told by a different character yet they all weave together throughout the whole book.

The book starts with an Authors Note that tells the reader the reason behind the book. During a classroom dance party Brando Skyhorse snubs a classmate named Aurora Esperanza and after thinking it over he feels remorse and he's ready to apologize but Aurora doesn't return to school. The book ends up being Brando's way to apologize to her 25 years later. (There is an interesting fact about the Author's Note but I'll leave that out to avoid any potential spoilers.)

I really found this book very intriguing. Initially the way the POV changed with each character was a bit disorienting but knowing that was coming I was quickly able to adapt and sort out who was who. The way the characters intertwine in and out of each others lives kept me glued to the book. Being a Mexican American myself I could totally picture the characters as if they were family and friends. It was also very interesting seeing how the different characters perceived each other. For instance one character Juan saw Duchess as a chubby plain girl with mushroom hair but Angie saw Duchess as a beautiful fashionista that she aspired to be just like. I recommend this book to anyone who loves urban fiction.


bermudaonion said...

I really enjoyed this book too. I don't think it's gotten the attention it deserves, so I'm glad to see your review.