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The Affairs of the Falcóns

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Ana Falcón, along with her husband Lucho and their two young children, has fled the economic and political strife of Peru for a chance at a new life in New York City in the 1990s. Being undocumented, however, has significantly curtailed the family’s opportunities: Ana is indebted to a loan shark who calls herself Mama, and is stretched thin by unceasing shifts at her facto ...more
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Ecco
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  145 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Angela M
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Immigration, given the current political climate is such a relevant issue, not just for those who are risking their lives to get here, but those already here . This story focuses on a family already here, an undocumented family . How can we possibly know the experience without having experienced it ? How can we possibly understand the stress, the fear, the desperation to make a comfortable life for your children when you can’t afford a decent apartment ? How can we know how difficult it is to k ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A timely and emotional glimpse into the pressures and stress of the immigrant experience. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Ana and Lucho Falcon, along with their two children, have fled the unrest of 1990s Peru for New York City; however, they are undocumented. This means they have far fewer opportunities to create a better life.

Ana works long hours for little pay at a factory and owes a loan shark money. In addition, she and her family are living with Lucho’s cousin, and the welcome mat is being worn thin. The spare
Diane S ☔
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
They came from Peru, settled in New York City, hoping to get lost in the crowds. They are some of the invisible people we encounter often, those that work the grills in our restaurants, do our landscaping,cwork in our factories and warehouses, clean our houses. Do all the jobs we no longer want to do. They are the undocumented, those without legal status in our country. For Ana and her husband, two children, it is a place where one can start over, have an opportunity , escape the censor and dang ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
4 stars Thank you to BookBrowse and Ecco for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Expected publication April 2, 2019.

Unsettled, desperate and heart wrenching, this story takes us into the lives of one undocumented immigrant family. Afraid to go home and afraid to stay, the Falcons are left living off family, struggling to find work, learning the language, avoiding crime and fitting into their new world. Turning to a loan shark Ana fears her undocumented status, along with the horrors she mus
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Fleeing violence in Peru in the 1990s, Ana and her family live as undocumented migrants in NYC. Every day in her life is a struggle. Financial struggles occupy most of Ana’s life, but there is also the struggle to come to terms with her mother and father’s deaths and learn to trust anyone but herself. This is not a feel-good story, but it does highlight the determination and hope of some immigrant families. Great writing and sharp dialogue. 3.5⭐ rounded up. ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book through the First Reads giveaway program.

A painful and heartbreaking tale of an undocumented woman's quest to keep her family together in New York City during the 90's. This is not an easy read, as it is brutally honest. But to truly understand the dire situation, we need this honesty. Too often we get caught up in the political viewpoint or media's perspective and forget the humanity. Thanks to the author for giving a voice to the undocumented.
Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 3 stars

This novel was unrelentingly depressing. There might have been two instances which didn't make me feel anxious or sad.
The dialogues are the best thing about The Affairs of the Falcóns. Rivero has an ear for the way in which people speak, for rendering with terrifying realism those fraught and tense pauses that fill an argument or a conversation, and for depicting the hesitancy that might make its way into one's words.
On the other hand, I found Rivero's prose and her characters to be
Kara Leann
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was impossible to put down. Ana Falcon was such a surprising and intriguing character that I was immediately immersed in her and her family's story. I thought Melissa Rivero did a fabulous job portraying the sacrifices and difficulties that immigrants in Ana's situation might face. I definitely recommend this to everyone looking to further their understanding of what it takes to migrate to the US and establish a new life here.

Thanks to Ecco and Harper Collins for providing an advanced
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I liked this story. Immigrants from Peru (some legal, some not) move to New York City to find the American dream. But they realize it isn't easy, especially when they are preyed upon by their own kind.

There was a lot of telling in this novel, instead of showing. Even with that though, some of this was beautifully written. I liked the authors use of words as times. I liked this one, but I didn't love 3 stars.
Megan C.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will make you examine and think. It will make you see and hear. For me, it gave faces and voices to a population of people who have been largely ignored in favor of broad terms like illegals, undocumented, refugees...terms that make it easier to lump them together, make it "us versus them", lessen the guilt, ease the discomfort. This book doesn't let you off that should be required reading.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
The title of Melissa Rivero’s affective novel, The Affairs of the Falcóns, sounds like a telenovela. “Affairs” recalls the romance-centric plots of many shows, while the “Falcóns” sounds like a glamorous dynasty. I don’t know if Rivero meant for her readers to think this. If she did, she certainly turns any expectations of a stereotypical telenovela-esque novel on their heads. This book is about the hard life of Ana Falcón née Ríos, an undocumented Peruvian immigrant to the United States, who ma ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review coming soon.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Timely gift of perspective in this novel. We are all humans who sacrifice and make mistakes and want the best for our families. Wonderful book.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
What a timely book spotlighting the plight of an immigrant family trying to rise above their current situation. Ana Falcon and her husband and 2 kids have left Peru looking for a better life but at every turn they are beset with money and work struggles and the compromises one must make to rise above the poverty level. Ana desperately wants the American dream and is thwarted time and time again. Meanwhile her husband would like to return to Peru. She is determined to keep her family here but at ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apr-2019
You have to pay the rent. You want your children to have a good education so you have to pay the catholic school tuition fees. You have to buy food. You have to buy clothes and shoes and school supplies and more for two growing kids. You can no longer afford the rent. You have to move in with your husbands sister, who not so secretly loathes you. You need to make more money. It's hard to make money when you're an undocumented immigrant. You need to borrow money. You can't keep up with your loan ...more
Wendy Cosin
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Melissa Rivero's novel takes the reader into the lives of an undocumented Peruvian family in NYC in the 1990's. The chronological narrative focuses on the mother, Ana Falćon, who works in a factory, lives with her husband's relatives, and is indebted to a loan shark. The author provides enough backstory to get a picture of what life was like in Peru.

The story flows very well as Ana addresses the many problems she is faced with, including class/color issues regarding her background, the struggle
Veronica (OnWednesdaysWeRead_)
Immigration status is such a heated topic in the U.S given the current political climate. This story is so raw and honest. I have family that fled Cuba due to Communism and Fidel’s take-over. My father has been working since the day his feet touched American soil. His work ethic; his pride; his love and appreciation for this country; his experiences as an Immigrant is why I am the way I am today. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK! This is a story about struggle, family, hope, and perseverance. This ...more
Julie Langsdorf
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Rivero's debut novel starts out on Ana's twelfth birthday; the day she killed her first chicken at home in Peru, then jumps fifteen years forward, where Ana is cooking chicken while living in a relative's apartment in Queens with her husband and children. The family is undocumented and life is far from easy, but Ana is determined to stay in the U.S. despite the hardships. The hardships in Peru were worse. Rivero's writing and her eye for detail are so good you'll feel as though you're ri ...more
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stunning. This novel, while brief, dives deep into issues of familia, immigration, and discrimination.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! Review to come soon~

The Affairs of the Falcóns is a story of family, love and immigration, both legal and illegal. I found this to be a really emotional, realistic and detailed portrait of the Falcón family, especially Ana, who the novel focuses on. Ana fights to support her family and keep them all together in America, where she, her husband, and children live as undocumented immigrants. The novel details a few weeks of Ana's life, near the end of the year, and shows the lengths she
Sara Batkie
A beautifully rendered but unsentimental and unflinching portrait of undocumented life in America. Rivero takes a lot of care with her characters, particularly her fierce but flawed protagonist Ana, who will do anything to keep her family together in New York even if it means losing herself in the process. Beyond its timeliness and urgency, it's also a great novel of female community, how we can lift one another up, and also be each others' worst critics. Make time for this one in the spring.
Julia Alberino
Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Full disclosure: I received the book free in exchange for an unbiased review on another site. I'm torn between three and four stars.

Here is the review I posted to the other site:"The Affairs of the Falcóns" puts a human face on the struggle of hard-working undocumented immigrants. This novel especially hit home for me, as a resident of New York City, which is where the action takes place. Yeas ago, I taught English to new immigrants, many of whom were undocumented, and all of whom worked hard f
Julia Kardon
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Rivero's debut novel is a nerve-wracking portrait of what it takes to raise a family in America while undocumented. Ana is juggling her job, her two small children, her under-employed husband, her contemptuous sister-in-law (whose apartment they're all staying in), and the increasing demands of a loan-shark couple, all while trying to figure out what's best for her family. But she also is forced to confront her own desires, and what she's willing to do to realize her dreams. This beautif ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I listened to the audio version of this heartbreaking novel. Great narration by Frankie Corzo. I was so gutted by this story of Ana Falcón, an undocumented Peruvian immigrant, and her desperate struggle to keep her family together when the weight of poverty and the threat of deportation loom over every decision. At some point in the novel, a character says, "We're fucked" and I couldn't help but agree. I appreciated so much the way Melissa Rivero didn't flinch when dealing with cruelty and strug ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This timely book dives deep into the soul of motherhood, marriage, immigrant life, and the American dream. Ana, Luchó, and their two children came from Perú, settled in New York City, hoping it get lost in the millions. For Ana, it’s a place for them to start over, escape violence, and find opportunity. But being undocumented means far fewer opportunities and constant threat of separation. Ana works long hours for little money forcing her into the arms of loan sharks she struggles to pay back. ...more
Christie Grotheim
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the dark story of Ana and her continuous struggles as she and her family try to make ends meet and survive in New York City after leaving the tumultuous political situation in Peru. The domestic drama feels authentic as do Rivero's descriptions of Brooklyn, her factory work, her cooking, and her relationships with others in the Peruvian community. I found the intro that opens in Peru with Ana as a twelve year old especially powerful. I like that the author takes her time leading us throu ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brettlikesbooks
thanks so much @ecco for sending me this beautiful new release—you guys are so good to me!! 😘

vividly descriptive language tells the story of peruvian immigrant ana and her struggle to scrape together her american dream + ana’s fierce love for her family and heart-wrenching sacrifice give rise to deep empathy

“Ana Lucía Cárdenas Ríos celebrated her twelfth birthday on the day she killed her first chicken...‘You’re going to have to do things like this in life, Ana.’ Doña Sara did not look at her
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For the past few weeks, I've been recommending this book to everyone I know. Set in New York City in the 90s, this novel is more than an immigration story--it's a portrait of one woman struggling to keep afloat in a world full of as much danger as beauty, and by the end, you will be left reeling. Ana Falcon will do anything to make sure her family has the best life they can--but that doesn't mean she's a saint--and as the story unfolds so do many surprises and turns that will leave you at the ed ...more
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