In the final days of his illness, Miguel Angel De La Cruz, the family patriarch known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the day approaches and he reflects on his long life, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leaving Big Angel to plan both his party and her funeral for the same weekend: a farewell double-header.
Among the guests is Big Angel's half-brother, Gabriel Angel, known as Little Angel, who confronts the truth that although he shared a father with his siblings, he did not, as a half gringo, share a life. Across one bittersweet weekend, the well-worn family mythos unspools, tracing an everyday heroism replete with acts of grandeur as the family risked everything for the promise of a foreign land at once welcoming and forbidding.
This story of the De La Cruzes reminds us of what it means to have lived two lives across one border, and of the ravaging power of death to shore up the bits of life you have forgotten. This indelible portrait of a complex family and the fraught and sublime America they have come to call home is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.