Rain of Gold

( 68 )

Overview

Part Two Of Two Parts

Few authors have written about Latino culture as beautifully as Victor Villasenor. And Rain of Gold is possibly his finest work -- a sweeping tableau of family ties and cultural traditions.

A pair of strong families, two proud but embattled lineages, find themselves bound together by time and circumstance. Through political upheavals, loves gained and lives lost, the families struggle to keep what is precious to them. This...

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Overview

Part Two Of Two Parts

Few authors have written about Latino culture as beautifully as Victor Villasenor. And Rain of Gold is possibly his finest work -- a sweeping tableau of family ties and cultural traditions.

A pair of strong families, two proud but embattled lineages, find themselves bound together by time and circumstance. Through political upheavals, loves gained and lives lost, the families struggle to keep what is precious to them. This premise would make a mesmerizing novel -- but this story is all true.

"A great love story...magnificent." (Albuquerque Journal)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Novelist Macho and screenwriter Villasenor recounts the adventures and struggles of three generations of his family in this earthy Mexican American saga. His father, Juan Salvador, who fled a Mexico torn by revolution, was imprisoned at the Arizona state penitentiary at age 12 for stealing $6 worth of ore from the mine where he worked. He escaped. The author's mother, Lupe, was born in an exploitative U.S.-run gold mine in Mexico, where her brother was narrowly saved from hanging by their gutsy mother, a Yaqui Indian. Juan and Lupe bought a pool hall in the barrio of Carlsbad, Calif., the year Prohibition ended. Villasenor is a born storyteller, and this Latino Roots , though marred at times by sentimentality and cliches, is a gripping, inspirational epic full of wild adventure, bootlegging, young love, miracles, tragedies, murder and triumph over cultural barriers. 30,000 first printing; $60,000 ad/promo; TV rights to PBS. Aug.
Library Journal
Advertised as the Hispanic-American Roots , Rain of Gold is the story of three generations of the author's family's migration from revolutionary Mexico in the 20th century to California. But Rain of Gold is no Roots and Villasenor is not Alex Haley. His style is naive and disturbing--he ranges back and forth between his family's historical past and a more contemporary setting. Nevertheless, there is good material in this oral history. Villasenor blends family stories and tales handed down through generations into an uneven narrative but a text which is credible social history. The most visible persona is the author's mother Lupe, who grew up among soldiers and moved North from her native La Lluvia de Ora, the Mexican gold mine operated by omnipresent American economic colonial interests. The final episodes concern the family's transformation from rural Mexico to heavily Hispanic-populated California. The result is a narrative which reflects the true social fabric of Mexican Americans. Not all the publishers claim, but still recommended for most libraries. A six-hour Corporation for Public Broadcasting series is planned for 1993.-- Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala.
From the Publisher
"A grand and vivid history... the characters are keenly drawn... often I felt like a family member watching from a corner stool."—New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385311779
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 81,474
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor Villaseñor is the author of the nonfiction books Wild Steps of Heaven and Jury: The People vs. Juan Corona. He has written several screenplays, including the award-winning The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. Villasenor lives on the North Country San Diego ranch where he grew up.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(64)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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2 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    Rain of Gold

    RAIN OF GOLD tells the parallel stories of Lupe and Juan Salvador-the author's parents-beginning in 1911 when they are children living in separate places in Revolution-torn Mexico, and how it comes to be that their respective families journey north to seek fortune and prosperity in the land of opportunity that is California. These are family stories of Salvador's days as a maker and seller of bootleg whiskey and these are, of course, tales of good Mexican people's struggles to overcome the prejudice and exploitation that they face at every turn. Some of the stories here seem more the stuff of fantasy than of family history, but are still enjoyable. Salvador and Lupe meet and fall in love, and RAIN OF GOLD concludes with their marriage in 1929.

    This is a book made up of a whole series of folksy tales and anecdotal humor. These are stories told by a man who is a natural storyteller; one who clearly admires and loves his family and his people and who writes with great passion. The writing is sometimes repetitious, but still entertaining. I enjoyed it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2003

    A True Reflection of The Mexican Experience

    Growing up as a Mexican-American in the United States often leads many of us to question our identity, our roots, and our heritage. "Rain of Gold" not only provides the historical experience of our people, it also embodies their resilient spirit and their love of life. The Mexican values of religion, family, and love are all well depicted and are brought to life by characters that in one way or another represent every Mexican person who came to the United States. This book is truly a reflection of our people--A people who bled, died,lost their faith, and rose again with their heads held high and the knowledge that a new horizon would soon come. If you are Mexican-American, you do not fully understand yourself until you have read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Rain of Gold is pure genius

    I finally found a book that relates in so many ways to my culture and the strugles that my own family has endured. As I was reading this book all the stories seemed as if they were happening to my own family. I guess it's because so many of my ancestors have similar stories to where we came from and how to appreciete God and Mother Earth with all it's living plants and animals. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has survived any struggles or is in touch with the Lord and earth itself. I want to thank the author for having taken the time to write this powerful inspiring true story. Gracias, Eva.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    EXCELLENT

    Great reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    truth

    This book made brought me many emotions.its just so powerful to the soul ,and maybe that was the intention.i cried,and laughed while reading this book.i felt like i knew lupe and jaun[salvador] so well.i recommend this book for anyone in search of a heart warming adventureous book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2006

    A real page turner! Hard to put down!

    This book is definitely hard to put down. It depicts in so much description the difficult lives of Mexican immigrants to the United States and all that they faced. Victor Villaseñor is a GIFTED writer who can describe an event with such vivid imagery that you feel as if you are there. This book is a true gift to American history, as Villaseñor tells the story from the point of view that is left out of our history books. If you want a love story that makes your heart pound and a story of struggle and triumph, this is a definite must.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2005

    Must read!!! Great History and more!!!

    One of the first books I read by Victor Villasenor and went on to read the others. I cried, laughed, and cheered as I read through the pages of the lives in his stories. A bit lenghty but the pages slip through your fingers as the story unfolds. It is so easy to read and lose yourself in the lives of the people. Great read. A must especially for the young Mexican - Americans. So that they may have an understanding and appreciation of the struggles their ancestors endured to come to this country. Struggles very much like those recorded in this novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2004

    I laughted and I cried

    The book was excellent. This story belongs to every Latino whose Parents or Grandparents came to the U.S. from Mexico. The stories were told exactly as my Grandparents told it to me. Every thing in the book was what my Abuelitos went throught while living in Mexico and their journey to the States. It was as if I was reading about them. I could not put the book down! I would stay up all night and read and read and read. I laughted and I cried all throught the book. I had the pleasure of meeting Victor Villasenor and talking to him about my Grandparents and he signed the books I bought. One was for my sister and two were for friends and they all loved the book very very much and thanked me for giving them a truly special gift. I highly recommend this book for every Latino. We can identify with this story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not for the faint of heart. It is not a beach book.

    This book is a unique combination of memoir and textbook. There were times when I felt I was back in a sociology class. My grandchildren who attended a Spanish Immersion school would learn from it.
    The most memorable line in the book was the mother telling her son that marriage was a journey and he should choose a woman he wanted to travel with for the rest of his life.
    It paints a vivid picture prejudice, abject poverty and of strong women who survived with their families.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    Great book, time consuming though.

    i really enjoyed this book but the length was too much. it was very inspiring and it made me thankful for everything i have, but the length really got to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    excellent book

    this book was amazing for me. it had so many conflicts in which the protagonists had to solve on their own. the best part that i thought was so amazing and interesting was when lupe and juan salvador first met at the party. it was love at first site. i recommend reading this book to everyone, trust me once you start reading it you dont want to stop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    Awesome

    This book is a must read in my list. I love it and I recommend it all the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    I guess you had to be there

    I wanted to like this book, and most of my book club did. But I found the writing stodgy and slow, especially when using the voice of Luce. I gave up about half way through, which is unusual for me. But I kept finding myself wondering why I was reading this book and not having fun. The topic was great and I would definitely have liked to get a better feeling for the courageous people who emigrated north from Mexico. I just couldn't get past the writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    A Must Read!

    When I am asked to recommend a good book this one is first on my list! My book club read it and every single person loved it, quite a feat within that group.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2006

    wonderful

    Truely one of the best books I've ever read. You really feel like you know these characters and their families. Wonderfully written! Very Rich!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2005

    Amazing

    This book is one of the best books that i have ever read. I would recommend it to anyone. Me and my closest friends have all read it because one of our friends recommended it and were glad we did. This book will just make you be more greatful for what you have and it will also teach you to be more appreciative for what you have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    The Best Book!!

    I picked this book up to read when I was a Junior in High School because it was a required reading assignment other than the history book we had to read. This book is very interesting and hilarious at the same time. I definately recommend this book. Victor Villasenor has done it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2005

    OMG!!! This book is so freakin' awesome!!!

    This book is so freakin' kool!!! I never even heard of Victor Villasenor until my English teacher recommended the book to me. I thank him any time I can. I love all his books. Of course, this is my favorite one. I love how he depicts the emotions, symbolism, and life as a Mexican in the U.S. The author really shows that fate had a lot to do with his parents getting together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2005

    Heartfelt.

    As an avid reader, I always encourage others to read, but better yet to enjoy the wonderful experience of a story. And for me Rain of Gold has been that wonderful story, I was so involved with the characters because someone in our lives resembles them. I am so proud to say that I have been married for 10 years, and I have never seen my husband read a book! And when I introduced him to Rain of Gold, by reading to him at first, he took it upon himself to continue reading the book, now he reads it and is fascinated by the characters, whom he is able to relate to. He is now sharing the book with our girls and the three of them are now enjoying their wonderful story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2005

    Viva Victor Villasenor!

    I could say this is one of my favorite books from all times very had to put down. Victor really makes you feel like part of the family and leaves you thirsty for more. It has a little of everything, it's going to make you cry, laugh, smile and wish you were part of this great family. Felicidades Victor for a wonderful masterpiece and thank you for writting such a beautiful story. Gracias.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews

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