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House Divided
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House Divided

5.0 11
by Raul Ramos y Sanchez
     
 

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Once they had a country, a culture, a future. Today, upheaval and betrayal have turned their world upside down. And for one family-a U.S. war hero, his deeply religious wife, and their impressionable fourteen-year-old son-a new struggle has just begun.

Mano Suarez made a choice to fight against injustice, and his wife can only pray for his deliverance. Now their

Overview

Once they had a country, a culture, a future. Today, upheaval and betrayal have turned their world upside down. And for one family-a U.S. war hero, his deeply religious wife, and their impressionable fourteen-year-old son-a new struggle has just begun.

Mano Suarez made a choice to fight against injustice, and his wife can only pray for his deliverance. Now their son, Pedro, takes up his father's cause . . . disappearing into the ranks of a cult-like organization and leaving his family far behind. To rescue him, Mano must face the consequences of his past deeds. But how can he convince his son to give up the very ideals he, Mano, embraced? How can he prove that home and family are the most important ideals of all?

HOUSE DIVIDED

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
American Libre author Ramos y Sanchez offers myriad perspectives on a civil war in his slushy latest. War has ravaged a Los Angeles where people who are designated "class H"--Hispanic, married to someone Hispanic, or having at least one grandparent of Hispanic origin--are carted off to quarantine zones. As a violent uprising stirs, Manolo Suarez, who has already lost a son to the war, fears for his other son, 13-year-old Pedro, who falls under the spell of a charismatic gang leader. As Manolo fights to keep his family safe, a slew of story lines sprout: two U.N. delegates of Hispanic origin with opposing views on how best to support their people, an ambitious C.I.A. operative, a young officer hell-bent on proving himself to his superiors. Unfortunately, Ramos y Sanchez neglects his characters' psychological and emotional development and instead leans heavily on potboiler plot twists and dialogue that too often slumps into action-movie banter. The novel is unfailingly earnest and moves confidently enough, but the treatment of conflict and its aftereffects is too shallow to resonate. (Jan.)
Examiner.com
"With House Divided, Ramos continues to shape the immigration narrative, while simultaneously holding it down for other authors who are part of fiction's Latino Renaissance...Just as he did in America Libre, Ramos infuses House Divided with an unwavering voice - one well informed by the fear that the immigration reform smack downs in this country have engendered."
USA Today on AMERICA LIBRE
"Provocative!"
LatinoStories.com on AMERICA LIBRE
"[Raul Ramos y Sanchez] Remember that name because you'll be hearing it time and time again. His next novel, House Divided, is scheduled to be published in 2011, and I for one, can't wait to read it."
James Rollins
"In such explosive times as ours, it is rare to discover a novel that captures fanaticism in all its extremes and tells a story as thrilling and vibrant as Raul Ramos y Sanchez's AMERICA LIBRE. Future and history collide in a cautionary tale of a new Civil War on American soil. A must-read for all, no matter where you draw your line in the sand."
Reuben Martínez
"Raul Ramos y Sanchez breaks new ground with America Libre. This debut novel is fast-paced and powerfully written-a story that not only entertains but challenges readers to examine their beliefs. Definitely an author to watch. "
From the Publisher
"With House Divided, Ramos continues to shape the immigration narrative, while simultaneously holding it down for other authors who are part of fiction's Latino Renaissance...Just as he did in America Libre, Ramos infuses House Divided with an unwavering voice - one well informed by the fear that the immigration reform smack downs in this country have engendered."—Examiner.com"

In such explosive times as ours, it is rare to discover a novel that captures fanaticism in all its extremes and tells a story as thrilling and vibrant as Raul Ramos y Sanchez's AMERICA LIBRE. Future and history collide in a cautionary tale of a new Civil War on American soil. A must-read for all, no matter where you draw your line in the sand."—James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Oracle on AMERICA LIBRE"

Raul Ramos y Sanchez breaks new ground with America Libre. This debut novel is fast-paced and powerfully written-a story that not only entertains but challenges readers to examine their beliefs. Definitely an author to watch. "—Reuben Martínez, founder, Librería Martínez Books & Art Gallery on AMERICA LIBRE"

A sweeping, intense novel of extremism, fear and consequences."—Publishers Weekly on AMERICA LIBRE"

Provocative!"—USA Today on AMERICA LIBRE"

[Raul Ramos y Sanchez] Remember that name because you'll be hearing it time and time again. His next novel, House Divided, is scheduled to be published in 2011, and I for one, can't wait to read it."—LatinoStories.com on AMERICA LIBRE

Library Journal
Set in an undefined future, this sequel to the Cuban-born Ramos y Sanchez's America Libre centers on a hypothetical insurgence of American Hispanics who, now that they have nonvoting representation in the UN, want to create their own autonomous nation on U.S. soil. Though the exact causes of the conflict are unclear, the segregation of the Hispanic population into several quarantine zones indicates the federal government's degree of hostility. Against this macrocosmic conflict, the author develops a microcosmic one concerning Mano Suarez; his wife, Rosa; and their rebellious adolescent son, Pedro. This conflict gradually takes over the book, as Pedro vacillates between sides. Though the narrative is packed with bombings, kidnappings, sieges, and all the usual trappings of terrorist activity, the characters are stylized and cardboard in a "them vs. us" mold. Though symbolic, the sexual union of members from each faction rests uneasily. Ramos politicizes the events with allusions to icons and events of modern U.S. history—a President Nixon (here Richard's great-nephew), the Chicago Seven, Deep Throat. VERDICT While the premise is inventive and highly original, it gets lost in the maze of characters and overwritten prose. One can't help but wonder, given the open ending, whether a third installment isn't waiting in the wings.—Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH
Kirkus Reviews

A fantasy of life in the near future, when Hispanics are gathered across the country in 46 walled Quarantine Zones and the U.S. government sends troops to pacify the "terrorists" living there.

Mano lives in a California quarantine zone with his wife Rosa and son Pedro. While Mano is a moderate, he has been leading an insurgency against military outposts charged with the task of peace-keeping in the zones. Much to Mano's sorrow, the latest rebellion has led to more than 200 insurgent deaths as well as the death of a number of soldiers, and outraged American citizens are now demanding a severe crackdown on the zones—military invasion and "pacification." Fourteen-year-old Pedro is ambivalent about his father's role, for on the one hand Mano is a respected leader while on the other he, at least in Pedro's eyes, seems cowardly and unwilling to engage in guerrilla actions. A radical splinter group called El Frente is also dissatisfied with Mano's moderate approach to what they see as an intolerable situation, so they begin a campaign of bombing meant to unify the Hispanic minorities—though such a campaign also serves to enrage the Anglo majority. Eight insurgents (The El Paso Eight Hostages) have been caught and sentenced to execution, so El Frente captures eight Anglo hostages and threatens to retaliate. It strains credulity that the last one of the hostages caught just happens to be Sarah Evans, the 15-year-old daughter of the deputy director of the CIA, and she falls in love with Pedro, one of her captors. Ramos y Sanchez (America Libre, 2009) takes us into the logistical difficulties of coordinating a political movement and arranging surreptitious funding. He also makes rigid moral distinctions between those who are trying to do right, especially the saintly Mano, and those demagogues who are calling for more Hispanic blood to be spilled (including President George Whitehead Nixon, great-nephew of a famous 20th-century president).

Ramos y Sanchez's prose style is flat and unexciting, but the incidents hold attention.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446507769
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
01/28/2011
Series:
Class H Trilogy Series
Pages:
309
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Cuban-born Raul Ramos y Sanchez grew up in Miami's cultural kaleidoscope before becoming a long-time resident of the U.S. Midwest. Following a successful 25-year advertising career that included founding an ad agency with offices in Ohio and California, Raul turned to more personally meaningful work. HOUSE DIVIDED is the second book of the AMERICA LIBRE trilogy, which Ramos began in 2004 with the input of scholars from the USA, Latin America and Spain. Besides developing a documentary for public television, Two Americas: The Legacy of our Hemisphere, Raul writes for a variety of publications and hosts www.myimmigrationstory.com/- an online forum for the U.S. immigrant community. To find out more, visit www.RaulRamos.com.

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