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Rain of Gold

4.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,080 Ratings  ·  591 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Catharine
Dec 04, 2008 Catharine rated it it was amazing
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
Pam
Mar 03, 2008 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Christen
Mar 05, 2009 Christen rated it it was amazing
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
Nick
Apr 10, 2015 Nick rated it liked it
This is family history of the most immediate kind, redeemed from its excess of filial piety and lack of craft by a passion and sense of drama that usually but not always stops just short or melodrama. It helps that the author's family lived in times that were entirely too interesting. One side came from a remote mining village terrorized by the kind of bands of thugs left over when Villa's army disintegrated. The other undertook a harrowing trek across the mountains and deserts. The early part-- ...more
Rachel
May 16, 2007 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Feb 27, 2011 Karina1 rated it it was amazing
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
Joe
Mar 13, 2008 Joe rated it it was ok
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.
Leinaala Ley
Apr 15, 2016 Leinaala Ley rated it really liked it
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
Dec 19, 2013 Esmeralda rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
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
Raquel
Aug 01, 2013 Raquel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, favorites
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
Chantilly Patiño
Jun 24, 2011 Chantilly Patiño rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chicano-lit
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
LisaRose
Jul 20, 2008 LisaRose rated it did not like it
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
Book Concierge
5***** and a

I read this on a friend's recommendation and was immediately caught up in the story of Villasenor's parents and grandparents. It's nonfiction, but full of old Mexican allegorical stories. There were times when, as I read, I would think "He's telling MY family's story!" After I read it (in English), I bought it for my mother (in Spanish).

UPDATE March 2008
My Hispanic book club chose this book for discussion, and I skimmed through it to refresh my memory
...more
Susan
Aug 26, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 26, 2014 amy rated it really liked it
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
Jun 01, 2013 Yvonne Mendez rated it it was amazing
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
Renata
Apr 18, 2016 Renata rated it it was amazing
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
Licha
Dec 14, 2013 Licha rated it it was amazing
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
Jen
Jun 25, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
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
Jan 07, 2014 Mellplex rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 28, 2012 Yvette Primero rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 29, 2012 Elizabeth Aldape rated it it was amazing
*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 really liked it
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
Jul 19, 2012 Trisha rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 27, 2011 Marla Guerrero rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2007 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: couldntputitdown
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
Rebecca Ortega
May 16, 2016 Rebecca Ortega rated it really liked it
For the last few days I have been reading a book called the Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor. This book tells the compelling family history of Villasenor. He traces back several generations of his family linage and details their trials and triumphs from a period roughly around the time from when his parents grew up until they met. He paints a very clear picture of the life of a person living in Mexico during the time of the Revolution to the life of someone adjusting here in the United States a ...more
Katherine Daley
Mar 28, 2015 Katherine Daley rated it it was amazing
Rain of Gold tells the story of Victor Villasenor's parents and their families, who escape the Revolution in Mexico and settle in California. It is the story of two American countries, Mexico and The United States, and the ways that prejudice, violence, greed, and anger have caused so much pain and destruction. It is also an story of immense hope and faith and strength and an affirmation of love and life. Villasenor has been compared with Steinbeck, and there are parts that feel like Grapes of W ...more
Julianna Pecoraro
Mar 02, 2015 Julianna Pecoraro rated it liked it
In the story "Rain Of Gold" by Victor Villasenor was an eye catching story that made me realize how life used to be and how easy we have it now, also how some things haven't changed but only have gotten slightly better.

The theme of this book is even though people go through tough times at the end of the day it will always get better no matter what. The authors style was real and from the heart because it was a true story. You can tell when reading this that it was very heart felt.

The people
...more
Jaylen Griffin
Jan 16, 2015 Jaylen Griffin rated it it was amazing
RAIN OF GOLD
BY VICTOR VILLASENOR





Villasenor’s Rain Of Gold Mesmerized with its surprising parent’s who were not document immigrants from Mexico. I didn’t know that you had to be a Documented immigrant from Mexico to come to the United States.

The theme of my book “Rain Of Gold” tells you the detailed history of 3 generations of 2 families who eventually get caught up in the Mexican Revolution of the 1910. Although they are being traced while migrating to the united states and they soon come acro
...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
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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.” 7 likes
“Mi hijito, I've told you a thousand times, if you speak badly of people, God will punish you and make you just like them.” 5 likes
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