Rain of Gold
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Rain of Gold

4.49 of 5 stars 4.49  ·  rating details  ·  4,069 ratings  ·  528 reviews
In Rain of Gold, Victor Villasenor weaves the parallel stories of two families and two countries…bringing us the timeless romance between the volatile bootlegger who would become his father and the beautiful Lupe, his mother–men and women in whose lives the real and the fantastical exist side by side…and in whose hearts the spirit to survive is fueled by a family’s uncondi...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Delta (first published 1991)
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Catharine
Dec 04, 2008 Catharine rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Catharine by: Stephanie Stocking
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a non-fiction book of many layers. It's about greed, prejudice, hate and anger, poverty and death. It's also about family, love, relationships, and dreams. Parallel stories are told of two children, both babies of their families, who grow up during the Mexican revolution. Children of war who are driven from their homes in Mexico, hoping for a better life in America. In America, however, they find that the Mexicans are treated no better than dogs. It was interesting to read about prejudic...more
Christen
Mar 05, 2009 Christen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Christen by: Anna
This book was exceptional. The family research the author conducted to put this family story together is amazing. Reading this book gave me a whole new outlook into immigration and Mexican history. The war and revolution that occured in Mexico was so bad that families had to flee in order to save their lives. They didn't want to leave their homes where they had lived, farmed, ranched, etc for generations anymore than we wanted them to come to the U.S. And then they get here and "rent" tents and...more
Pam
This book is quite wonderful. Although listed as a non-fiction book, it reads like a novel. It has feelings. The reader can not read it without becoming attached to the people and events of the story.
Victor Villasenor has traced three generations of his Latino family's history in this book and their migration from Mexico to the U.S. Through tragedies, losses, trials and successes it traces their ability to keep their faith, drive, love, and humor as a suture that binds the family. This book ma...more
Joe
This book was entertaining, but the writing was poor. Specifically, the author used way too much foreshadowing. It was annoying. And the characters were pretty evil, especially the two Mexican mothers, who bugged me to no end.
Rachel
This is a wonderful story, made that much more impressive simply by the fact that it is the true story of the author's family. It is impossible to not feel what the characters are feeling and, as a reader, you become emotionally invested in the story very quickly. I found myself crying when the characters cried, feeling scared when they felt scared, and basically emulating all emotions reflected in the book. It's a bit long and looks like a text book at first glance (with black and white photos...more
Karina1
Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor turned out to be great book, and is by far on my top five! The book is about mainly two characters: Lupe and Juan (Salvador). It tells the story of both families in different places in Mexico in the time during the Mexican Revolution. Both families find it hard to adjust in the life that they are surrounded by with many deaths, and find themselves traveling north to America as a refugee. That's when the story of Juan and Lupe come together and take some twsit an...more
Leinaala Ley
Already being an "I love Mexico" buff this wasn't a hard book to get into but it was really one of the best historical novels I've ever read. It's autobiographical in the sense that it's the family history of the author as passed down through his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. but it really reads like a book of fiction because of the very mystical strain that runs through his family. Anyone Mexican whose interested in their indigenous roots should read this book. It starts near the b...more
Esmeralda
In the beginning of the book it starts of with Espirito a poor man that tries to sell sweet water to help his people with food and clothing.When he tries to trade in the water the man rejects his offer. Espirito not only did he have the water but golden rocks that the business man was very interested in receiving. Espirito let him know that they would be no digging undergrounds for these golden eggs.
Then this is where Lupe comes out a young six year old girl that lives in La Lluiva de Oro . La...more
LisaRose
Jul 20, 2008 LisaRose rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I wouldn't
Recommended to LisaRose by: It was a book club selection
Just not getting all the great reviews for this book.

I'm reading it for my book club and ugh! It's plod, plod, plod, trudge, trudge, trudge...one voice for all the main characters, and a simplistic writing style. My fourth graders wrote this way. There's no depth to or challenge in the ideas. While I understand it's a family history/history of the Mexican Revolution & migration of Mexicans into the United States, I believe the writing could have been much more dynamic. Phrases such as "Lupe...more
Raquel
Rain of Gold is the quintessential Mexican-American novel. Villasenor weaves the lives of his father and mother into a compelling narrative that makes it a feat to stop reading.
Set during the Mexican revolution, RoG depicts the hardships Mexican went through due to the turmoil and bloodshed caused by the revolution. Many Mexicans (especially the poor) migrated to the U.S. as a refuge, but found how horribly they were treated there by Americanos. It's shameful how poorly Mexicans were treated, es...more
Susan
This is a detailed history of Villaseñor's family, beginning in Mexico with the grandparents of each of his parents, following their stories as they left their homes there and traveled to the United States, and concluding with the marriage of Villaseñor's parents Lupe and Juan Salvador. It is a story filled with great tragedies and great joys. And in its telling, it shows us much about the mexicanos of the Northern Mexican hills and of Southern California, both their culture and the tribulations...more
amy
A grand story, of epic proportions. What a roller coaster ride--a bit too detailed at times, but full of rich, powerful emotion.

Overall, I felt like I was on the journey with these two families every step of the way, and that I lived their entire lifetime with them. I was a bit disappointed that the author's generation was not covered in nearly as much detail, even though he would have had his own memories to draw from, instead of having to conduct interviews.

What happened to: Duel, Mark, the "T...more
Yvonne Mendez
I remember listening to this audiobook many years ago and recently a friend of mine reminded me of the book, so I got it from the Library again. It is such a beautiful story that I just had to hear it again.

This is a journey through memory lane, looking into the author's family history. A story of two families ravaged by war who were forced again from their homes into a new country that needs them while at the same time doesn't want them.

Listening to the way life events are explained in the book...more
Licha
Oh, why did this have to end? I was completely lost (in a good way) in this story of the author's family. This book demonstrates the importance of family stories, family heritage, family legacy. We are a sum of all the things our families have gone through, all the struggles, all the happy times, all its accomplishments.

The love comes pouring out as the author tells the story of his mother and father. Two families that were uprooted from the homes they loved in Mexico during the Revolution in o...more
Chantilly Patiño
This book was a little of what I expected and a lot of what I didn't. I'd heard that it was a great tale of Mexican history and traditions, and that it was hopeful and full of Chicana(o) pride. The book was all these things and so much more. Most of all though, it was filled with such truths that it's almost impossible for someone to be unable to connect with this book. Throughout the book, we learn of the horrors of war, the drama and dysfunction that meets many families along the way, and the...more
Jen
Rain of follows Juan Salvador and Lupe Gomez (the author's parents) and their families on very different journeys through the hard times of the Mexican Revolution and into the U.S. They meet new challenges and find each other as they adjust and learn to make a life in this new country.

Villasenor is an impressive writer who pulls a reader into the story immediately! The novel challenges the reader to experience the harsh realities of the characters' hardships and triumphs. Villasenor's adherence...more
Mellplex
This has been on my reading list for a while now. I finally had the courage to tackle the 500+ pager and was very pleasantly surprised at how the book surpassed my expectation. Having tapatio blood in me I can't help but have a swell of pride after having read this book. The backdrop of the story and character development was amazing. The book read so smoothly, with elements of humor, faith, and one of my favorites, history.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read it. While I was...more
Yvette Primero
This book speaks to me. The culture, the choices, the reality of our life is all in there. There are very limited books that can bring this all together without seeming fake and everything in this book was so real I could feel it.
In a time when people tend to omit the "undesirable" parts of family history this story tells it all. I only wish there were more pictures (I am not even joking) I would have liked to see any pictures of his great grandma and more of his parents before they got married....more
Elizabeth Aldape
*sigh* What a great book. Thanks to my sis-in-law Stacey's recommendation, I didn't get to live a life of having never read this book. I soaked in the beautiful descriptions of Mexico and the rich culture of Lupe and Juan's families, and I fell in love with their stories as each page to me closer to their wedding. When they said I do, I felt like I had suffered, rejoiced, and grown with them in their journeys. It was remarkable to look back to where the tale began and how far we all had grown an...more
Melissa Flores
Feb 23, 2008 Melissa Flores rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those with a latino background
Recommended to Melissa by: Agood friend
This book gave me a better sense of what happened during the Mexican revolution. Victor Villasenor captured every moment perfectly. Not only were you able to visualize what he was writing about, but you were also able to feel what his family went thru to survive. It was touching to read about two families striving to survive during a war and in the end come together. It truely captured the power of love and the importance of family during time of war and time of hardship.
This book is based on fa...more
Trisha
Victor Villasenor is dyslexic and has written a great autobiography called Burro Genius that describes his miserable experience in school (and how many rejection letters he received before ever getting a book published). My midwife recommended Rain of Gold to pass the time while I was awaiting the birth of my baby. I loved this book. Villasenor traces the story of his family on both his mother's and his father's side, leading up to how they met and married. The beautiful storytelling completely...more
Marla Guerrero
This book was just fascinating. It was both funny and sad. I think Victor Villaseñor did a well job at describing almost every detail of his parent’s life. What I found fascinating was how he was able to put both his parents’ perspective in one book. He talks about how his mother loathes drinking and gambling and his dad becoming a bootlegger trying to hide it from Lupe (Victor's mother). They were two different people who just fall deeply in love with each other. When I finally finished the boo...more
Kelly
La lluvia de Oro...puede leer en espanol tambien.

I read this book back during the undergrad years, and absolutely fell in love with it. I hesitate to call it fiction, because it it based on the stories of the author's grandparents journey from Mexico to the U.S. I saw Victor Villasenor speak, and he said that as a child, he always assumed his grandparents were making the stories up, since they were so far-fetched, however after returning the Mexico and following their stories, he came to find ou...more
Marianna
This book literally changed my life. It was given to me when I was a teenager and I devoured it. As a brown kid growing up in the same region as Victor Villaseñor it was amazing to hear someone tell a story that at that time - I was sure was in some way similar to or parallel to my own. This book opened my eyes to the importance of telling, recording and sharing my own stories. I shared it with my younger brothers who hated to read and even they read this as young teenagers. I recommend sharing...more
Jessica
This is quite possibly the best book everr! It is the true story of the author's parents and how they came to the United States, meet one another, and fell in love. The greatest immigrant story I have ever read. It is so filled with unbelievable miracles, it is truly inspriring. You really feel for all the characters, even when they do stupid things (as it serves to make them very real). I laughed and cried so hard in this book, I just can't say enough for it. Total must read for everyone!
Christian Villalpando
Rain of gold by Victor Villasenor was an inspiring book to read.

The theme of this book was that if you’re willing to risk your life to save your loved ones your one of the strongest and brave in the world. That it’s hard to live in a place where there isn't really any money and that is dangerous to walk around the streets by yourself. I liked the style of the author it was intersecting how he decide to tell a story about his own parents and how their lives were as they were young. I like readin...more
Ernesto
I thought this book was really awesome. It was very interesting just the way he wrote it. It was very dramatic with a lot of bad things then the next thing somehow it turned good. I liked the story very much just when something bad happens they don't stop and quit they all stick together and get through it and I thought that was really interesting. Also every time the main character was in trouble he would learn a life lesson and develop a new skill. One of the best books I've ever read.
Kathy Marler
The book is well written and I enjoyed learning the life of a Mexican American Immigrant in the early 1900's. I thought it too bad however that as they anglicized that they felt it necessary to become hard and profane in their language. I realize that this book was written as biographical, but as a piece of fiction I would like to uplift, rather than to seek the base of society. I would hate to think every immigrant seeps to this level.
Melanie
I loved this book. Victor Villasenor tells the story of his parents immigrating from Mexico, finding each other in the US and getting married. His parents were small children during the Mexican revolution, lived in poverty and their stories of immigrating are amazing. He interviewed his relatives in great detail to tell the stories he heard while growing up. He tells them remarkably well and is a master at dialogue.
Renata
While reading a review of The Hummingbirds Daughter, a book on my want-to-read list, I was reminded of Rain of Gold which I read almost twenty years ago. The pleasure and grief and great interest I felt while reading it have stayed with me. It is a heartfelt family saga telling the stories of both sides of the family going back to the Spanish Conquistadors in Mexico and eventually ending up in California. It is filled with tragedy, hope, determination, sorrow and laughter. One of the reviewers o...more
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Victor Villaseñor is an acclaimed Mexican-American writer, best known for the New York Times bestseller novel Rain of Gold. Villaseñor's works are often taught in American schools. He went on to write Thirteen Senses: A Memoir (2001), a continuation of Rain of Gold. His book Burro Genius: A Memoir (2004) describes his life. The author has received awards and endorsements, including an appointment...more
More about Victor Villaseñor...
Burro Genius: A Memoir Thirteen Senses: A Memoir Wild Steps of Heaven Macho! Walking Stars: Stories of Magic and Power

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“And in that moment of sun and joy, Lupe knew why she loved and also hated Salvador. He gave her wings. He didn't try to lock her in, as had Jaime and the other boys she'd known. No, she could dream her wildest dreams with him and so she loved him for this; but she also hated him because it made her fearful. No one in her family was like this. They were always very cautious.” 4 likes
“You are the machos, the life, the future of our families. You are all that's left, so you must protect our mothers and grow and do good and have families of your own. I love you. I do. I do.” 3 likes
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