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The River Beyond the World: A Novel
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The River Beyond the World: A Novel

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  85 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Luisa Cantu is a girl from a Sierra Madre mountain village. After being impregnated in a fertility ritual of ancient ofigin, she leaves Mexico to work in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as a housemaid for Mrs. Eddie Hatch, a woman with a strong will and a narrow worldview. Their complex relationship-by turns mystical and pragmnatic, serious and comic-reveals the many ways h ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 15th 1997 by Picador (first published 1996)
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Jan 04, 2008 rated it liked it
The story was good. I hated the writing. Reading the book was a rather unplesant experience, even though the story is really sticking with me. The writing was pretentious and full of itself. I hate writing that is full of sentence fragments. I hate writing about foreign places that attempts to explain nothing of the foreign terminology it uses, even in context. That demonstrates a lack of writing talent and a snobbish presumption.
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most complex and simultaneously stirring books I have read in awhile. Starts off slow, but once I was able to get the lineages of the characters and their relationships straight, I found it difficult to look away. I wondered at times if it needed to be as long as it is or have as many characters present - but in a way, the historical and familial nature of the plot warrants it. These are dynamic, beautifully drawn characters who produce a rollercoaster of reactions, and though ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I'd like to give it 3.5 stars. Her writing is beautiful but it took me a long time to get into this story. It's really more of a character study than anything else but the problem for me was that we were supposed to see this underlying relationship between the two women from the two different worlds... but it just wasn't there for me. An okay read, didn't love it, didn't hate it.
Dec 18, 2010 rated it liked it
The writing was very poetic, and the book took some turns I wasn't expecting. It's really a very compelling story and I would recommend this book. However, I felt that it resorted to stereotypes. That of the oppressed peoples being somehow closer to the truth of the world, more primitive, more mystical, less "sophisticated". Ugh. That turned me off.
Donna Andrews
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful beautiful book. Characters utterly real with fully defined personalities. The story weaves cultural and class prejudices in truly elegant ways. I read this book probably 10 years ago now and I still remember some scenes vividly because of how well written it is. Have recommended to many.
Richard Kravitz
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good story. Honest and real, a book about women by a woman!
Rich Boyett
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written book about life, death, culture clash, forgiveness and its all intertwined with threads of mysticism.
Jpmartin5552 Martin
Jun 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book starts off slow and strange, but quickly turns into one of those "across the years" novels that are so much fun to read.
Jan 19, 2008 marked it as read_me_piles
How can a National Book Award finalist have only 5 reviews?
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