The Distance Between Us - Reyna Grande

The Distance Between Us

By Reyna Grande

  • Publication Date: 2012-08-28
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
5 Score: 5 (From 61 Ratings)

Book Overview

Mago pointed to a spot on the dirt floor and reminded me that my umbilical cord was buried there. “That way,” Mami told the midwife, “no matter where life takes her, she won’t ever forget where she came from.”

Then Mago touched my belly button . . . She said that my umbilical cord was like a ribbon that connected me to Mami. She said, “It doesn’t matter that there’s a distance btween us now. That cord is there forever.”

When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother.

The three siblings are forced to look out for themselves; in childish games they find a way to forget the pain of abandonment and learn to solve very adult problems. When their mother at last returns, the reunion sets the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Reyna’s young life: her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.

In this extraordinary memoir, award-winning writer Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years, capturing all the confusion and contradictions of childhood, especially one spent torn between two parents and two countries. Elated when she feels the glow of her father’s love and approval, Reyna knows that at any moment he might turn angry or violent. Only in books and music and her rich imaginary life does she find solace, a momentary refuge from a world in which every place feels like “El Otro Lado.”

The Distance Between Us captures one girl’s passage from childhood to adolescence and beyond. A funny, heartbreaking, lyrical story, it reminds us that the joys and sorrows of childhood are always with us, invisible to the eye but imprinted on the heart, forever calling out to us of those places we first called home.

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Users Reviews

  • Inspiring. Great read. Could not put it down!

    5
    By -/good boy
    I read this book for a class and I am so happy to have read it. It is a great story that offers insight in to immigrants struggles from around the world. Tear jerker at time. Overall a great book.
  • Amazing

    5
    By Someone292
    This was a great book! I enjoyed reading it and it opens many minds to what others may go through in life! Fantastic book!
  • Heart wrenching reality

    5
    By Soonersusiela
    This book shows the depths of despair along with the never failing love of a family burdened with the challenges of poverty and separation. I found myself cheering for the successes of Reyna Grande and praying that her unvarnished recounting of her life will make a difference to other Mexican Americans searching for the truth. Moved my heart!