Into the Beautiful North
Urrea, Luis Alberto. (2009). Into the Beautiful North: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.
This is a novel about coming to America with an interesting twist. The thought is that everyone who comes to los Yunaites comes in search of a better life and to stay. It also depicts the take over of drug dealers in Mexico along with the dangers of crossing the border.
The story begins in the town of Tres Camarones. At one time the town provided a good life for the people but with time things have changed. The men of the village have left to los Yunaites, all that is left are women, children and the elderly. There has also been and influx of drug dealers working on taking over the town. The main source of entertainment and employment is the Cine Pedro Infantil and a restaurant called La Mano Caida. Many different types of movies are shown at the Cine Pedro Infantil. Of the movies shown, Los Siete Magnificos, caught the interest of Nayeli and her friends. Her Aunt Irma, a powerful woman in her town who is running for Mayor is also a great fan of Yul Brynner.
Nayeli, after viewing this movie, decides that they need to go to los Yunaites and bring seven men back to Tres Camarones. This will help them prevent the drug dealers from taking over their town. With approval and help from Aunt Irma, Nayeli, Yolo, Vampi and Tacho make the trek to los Yunaites. Each has a secondary goal, Nayeli to find her father and Matt, the missionary that had once been in their town. Yolo and Vampi are also interested in Matt. Tia Irma wants to reconnect with her long lost love. Tacho to find acceptance as a gay male.
The journey is filled with pitfalls, including the dangers of coyotes exploiting them. They find help in the form of Atomiko. Their first attempt to get across leads to them getting caught and returned to Mexico. Tacho is separated in the process. Surprising that they are helped again at no additional cost. They are taken to a man who has a "hole" which is used to smuggle drugs. Similar to the tunnels that have actually been found on the border to smuggle drugs. They successfully find their way to los Yunaites. Tacho has his own interesting journey of getting across and uniting with them.
The story continues with what happens in los Yunaites. Are they able to meet their goals? Find the men they are looking for and bring seven men back to their town?
I found the story depicts the problems that leads immigrants to America and the dangers. Also, things are often not as they seem because the connection to people's homeland is great.
Review by Elaine S. Reyes, NHCC docent/Book Club member
Available at the NHCC Library: PS3571 .R74 I56 2009