Ghosts of El Grullo

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Overview

Having left her much-loved San Diego barrio, Yolanda Sahagún is now living in the university dorms when a series of events—her mother dies and her father sells their home—forces her to re-examine her life. Yolanda visits her parents' hometown of El Grullo, Mexico, struggling to understand the ghosts in her life—her mother, her father, and her seemingly idyllic childhood. She fears losing herself in the disintegration of the family. For Yolanda, her father is her enemy (or so she thinks), and in the course of the ...

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Ghosts of El Grullo

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Overview

Having left her much-loved San Diego barrio, Yolanda Sahagún is now living in the university dorms when a series of events—her mother dies and her father sells their home—forces her to re-examine her life. Yolanda visits her parents' hometown of El Grullo, Mexico, struggling to understand the ghosts in her life—her mother, her father, and her seemingly idyllic childhood. She fears losing herself in the disintegration of the family. For Yolanda, her father is her enemy (or so she thinks), and in the course of the novel we see him at his best and worst, and we see Yolanda at her best and worst.

This is a story of Yolanda's initiation into womanhood and about her fierce struggle to make sure her family does not dissolve. Family and sexual politics; love, death, and abandonment; the struggle to resolve a personal identity in the context of a shattered, first-generation immigrant American family—these are the hugely painful obstructions Yolanda must surmount or incorporate into her own being as she makes her life's journey.

Ghosts of El Grullo is a sequel to Santana's critically acclaimed and prize-winning Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her sequel to the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize-winning Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility, novelist Santana follows Yolanda Sahagún, now a young woman struggling to find an identity of her own within her Mexican-American community while uncovering the secrets left behind by her oddly secretive, recently deceased mother: "What I knew of my mother was like looking at movie previews, teasers." Lost almost equally amidst peers and her tight-knit immigrant family, Yolanda faces off against her father, whose temper and need for control repeatedly spin family gatherings out of control, and eventually makes her way to her parents' hometown of El Grullo, Mexico. While Yolanda's search has rich potential, the novel ultimately lacks enough complexity to overcome redundancy. Santana's obvious talent lies in the engaging, revealing anecdotes that gracefully cross-section the Sahagún family dynamic; unfortunately, these narrative morsels prove more delectable than the meat of the story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826344090
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296

Meet the Author

Patricia Santana is chair of the foreign languages department and professor of Spanish at Cuyamaca College, El Cajon, California. Her earlier book, Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility (UNM Press), received the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize and was selected by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2014

    Interesting Contemporary Novel

    A well-written book that reflects on some of the issues in a diverse society.

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