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The Affairs of the Falcóns

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  954 ratings  ·  158 reviews

A stunning debut novel about a young undocumented Peruvian woman fighting to keep her family afloat in New York City

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

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Ecco
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Sharon I found a short NY Times interview with the author to bring for my book group, but that's all. I'm sad that the publisher didn't issue some like they…moreI found a short NY Times interview with the author to bring for my book group, but that's all. I'm sad that the publisher didn't issue some like they often do-- there is a lot here to talk about in a group. (less)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  954 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Angela M
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
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 room
Diane S ☔
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...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
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
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
Irene (Read.Rewind)
• an immigrant story with so much realness
• flawed characters - all of them
• Ana - MC is faced with difficult decision after difficult decision. But she doesn’t need your sympathy or pity.
• 1990s Peru - NYC everyone is try to make their own way
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
2.5 stars

There’s a real dearth of books about undocumented Spanish-speaking immigrants in the United States. I read in large part to learn about other people’s experiences, and this is a community that’s so nearby and yet so foreign to most Americans. I think what I really want is a popular ethnography – something like Just Like Us, but more representative; something like Two Dollars a Day, but about undocumented immigrants – but memoirs, and fiction by people who know what they’re talking
Ann (Inky)
One of the best debuts I've ever read. Had me hooked by the first sentence (it's about a little girl slaughtering a chicken).

A blurb on the back of the book calls The Affairs of the Falcóns "a book we urgently need now", a take which I very much agree with as I sit here turning the final page.

A woman and her family's immigration journey from a dangerous conflict-ridden Peru to a vibrant New York City in the early 1990's: all of their heartaches, their disappointments, their paranoia, their
Julia Phillips
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not breathe while reading this book. It took my breath away. Tense, vivid, rich, real, it is a masterpiece. If you've ever been told you're less than, if you've been vulnerable, if you've done the wrong thing for the right reasons, if you've had to rely on yourself, if you've loved someone, if you've been hurt and kept going, you have got to read this novel. Stunning.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Omg that ending! A book for a time such as this. I loved Ana. She makes me ask myself —- what wont I do for my family? For my children? This is a book about the joys and plight of motherhood.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This novel is the story of Ana and her family who are immigrants from Peru. It deserves all the stars. Ana struggles to come up with money to pay the bills every month. She deals with difficult decisions on what she's willing to do to keep her family together. It felt incredibly real to me and extremely compelling.
The Lexington Bookie
I’ll give fair warning- I think I’ll be giving an unpopular opinion on this novel, but please bear with me and hear me out.

The Affairs of the Falcóns was a difficult read for me to review, in the sense that I felt I understood what the author was trying to relay to readers, however the message didn’t impact me the way I think was intended.

In the novel, the Falcóns are illegal Peruvian immigrants who are trying to provide a better future for their children. Main character Ana is a wife with a
There were times while reading this book that I put my hand to my heart in sorrow. Much of the time, though, my jaw was clenched in anger. The protagonist, Ana Falcón, is a woman from Peru, trying to keep her family together by any means necessary after immigrating to New York City. There are forces and unspoken rules beyond her control everywhere she turns, determining her fate. The people around Ana seem increasingly dangerous to her well-being, from loan sharks to in-laws and more. There are ...more
Vera Perez
The Affairs of the Falcóns is the debut novel by Melissa Rivero, published April 2nd, 2019 by Ecco. I picked this one up from my local library for mainly two reasons: 1) my ever-growing desire to learn about other cultures, and 2) the HYPE!

It is delightful to be surrounded by so many colorful cultures at work, I've learned a bit about culinary preferences, different meanings for some words, rooted expressions, etc. Truthfully though, I haven't got the chance for deeper discussions when it comes
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
Stunning in its simplicity, this book bowled me over with the all-too-relatable chaos that exists within an individual and especially within a family, which often doesn't receive the attention and care that Rivero gave to Ana here. Taking place over the winter holidays in Queens in the 1990s, Ana is floundering beneath the responsibility she has undertaken to make sure that the family she uprooted from Peru is going to thrive, no matter what it takes. Her husband Lucho lost his job and the ...more
Kara Leann
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ana Falcón is from Peru but now lives in New York with her husband Lucho and their two kids. The Falcóns are undocumented which, as you can imagine, makes their lives much more difficult and complicated. They are struggling financially, forced to live in the home of Lucho's cousin who is arrogantly unkind, and in debt to a woman who preys on the undocumented and the vulnerable. Ana wants to desperately stay in the United States. Lucho wants to leave and return to Peru. Together and sometimes ...more
And that’s the thing about this place. You always need help. It’s not enough that we work hard. Doesn’t that tell you something?

I wanted to love this one but I did not. Maybe it is case of "me", but the overall the book fell flat for me. The Affairs of the Falcons follows the lives of the Falcon family, Peruvian by birth, they are currently living and working in New York. Some of the Falcons are documented, majority, specifically Anna, her husband and her two children are undocumented. Ana
Jamise // Spines & Vines
3.5 stars rounded up. A timely and relevant story about immigration, being undocumented in America, motherhood, strong women & friendships. Rivero knows how to tell a story. Her writing style is so descriptive that I felt as if I was going through the experiences with the characters. I felt their fear & heartaches, could vividly picture the places and could even taste the food. Very nice debut novel. ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Lauren Reed
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“AFFAIRS OF THE FALCÓNS” by @melissarivero_ is a wonderful work of fiction that empathetically bridges the stories of Latinx immigration to America with the realities one undocumented family faces once arrived in the U.S. I’ve read many stories surrounding immigration, but this one most dramatically placed me in their shoes, especially as a woman and mother; one cannot possibly fault the choices Ana Falcón has to make to endure “The American Dream”. This Peruvian family’s story acutely humanizes
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review coming soon.
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
thoughts coming shortly
Katy Carnell
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
This moving book chronicles the plight of an undocumented Peruvian family trying to make ends meet in NYC. Rivero does a good job of portraying the constant stress and pressure that most immigrants face. I felt like I was right alongside Ana, and at times felt hopeless that her life would hold any happiness at all. Great book!!
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Megan C.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Karen (idleutopia_reads)
My father asked me what was wrong. We had been driving to run an errand and I was deeply engrossed in the thoughts swirling through my head. It was jarring to come back to the car, and to a dreary and snowy Chicago, when my mind had been miles away. You see, my face has never been great at hiding my emotions. In that moment, when my father happened to glance at me, what he saw was rage. I felt so angry, and I would grow increasingly more so, because of the odyssey that Ana in the Affairs of the ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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