Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Review: THE MADONNAS OF ECHO PARK by Brando Skyhorse

Though filled with eclectic characters of women and men as well as being written by a man, this great book still couldn’t keep us from sharing it on LLVL.

I was immediately entrapped by the stories.

The author paints lustrous illustrations of the gritty L.A. scene completely overflowing by the earnest characters that leap off the pages. Smart and poetic—Skyhorse clearly exudes the soul of an artist with words that radiate with desolate beauty.

What I particularly liked was how the author did not “sugar-code” things. He gives us accurate accounts of what it’s like in the barrios with immigration, gang wars, racial hate, domestic abuse, infidelity, and family affairs.

This book is classified as having one story (and it is,) however, it is told by the various views of each character’s perspective, allowing the reader to learn what each desires from the American life while seeing their reality as it really was.

Hector is a hard-working man scrounging for every cent he can find by hanging out with fellow Mexicans to find work. In his view, we get to learn exactly what goes on in the head of a man.

Felicia has never been able to get over Hector’s betrayal, but still she keeps on going—going back to the rich homes to clean them. She could never fathom why people would pay so much for so little—something I’ve never been able to understand myself. That’s why she gets furious when her daughter starts acting like a rich, white kid when she was neither.

The most inspirational quote would have to be: “God is the fear that motivates you to protect yourself.” (pg. 57)

But the FUNNIEST tale would have to be “Rules of the Road,” a story about a bus driver constantly transporting a mixture of people of all ages and color from one bad part of town to another. I must say that I absolutely agreed with him when he said, “[Women] made their choices, and there is no reason to feel sympathy for someone who wants nothing out of her life and gets what she aims for.” (pg. 75) From then on, our bus drives continues to rag on how he hates it when Mexicans get offended when you don’t answer them in Spanish or how welfare broads are sucking money from his pockets everyday.

I absolutely loved how the lives of these characters intertwined together—very crafty!

An enjoyable read that many of us can relate to in some way. 

My rating: 5 stars

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