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Across a Hundred Mountains: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Reyna Grande
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

Winner of the American Book Award, Across a Hundred Mountains is a stunning and poignant novel about a young girl who leaves her small town in Mexico to find her father, who left his family to find work in America—a story of migration, loss, and discovery.

After a tragedy separates her from her mother, Juana García leaves in search of her father, who left them two years earlier. Out of money and in need of someone to help her across the border, Juana meets Adelina Vasquez, a young woman who left her family in California to follow her lover to Mexico. Finding themselves—in a Tijuana jail—in desperate circumstances, they offer each other much needed material and spiritual support and ultimately become linked forever in the most unexpected of ways.

In Across a Hundred Mountains, Reyna Grande puts a human face on the controversial issue of immigration, helping readers to better understand those who risk life and limb every day in pursuit of a better life.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Grande, a 2003 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, turns in a topical and heartbreaking border story for her debut. Juana, 11, loses her baby sister in a flood, and the death sets off a chain of tragic events: her money-strapped father heads north from their small Mexican town for el otro lado; Juana's newborn baby brother is claimed by the town money lender; and Juana's mother descends into alcoholism and violence. At 14, Juana leaves to look for her father, from whom they have heard nothing. On her painstaking journey, she meets Adelina Vasquez, an American runaway working as a prostitute in Tijuana, who takes Juana in. The narrative switches off between young Juana's viewpoint, and that of Andelina, now 31 and a Los Angeles social worker, who returns to Mexico to find her own father and reunite with her mother. Grande's deft portraiture endows even the smallest characters with grace, and the two stories cross and re-cross in unexpected ways, driving toward a powerful conclusion. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"[Across a Hundred Mountains is] one of the most exciting fictional debuts in years. It's a wonderful journey, a fast-paced, reader-friendly story that takes you in and out of different worlds. It shows the harshness and complexity of life on two sides of the US-Mexico border, in an authentic landscape that is beautiful and sad." -- Daniel Chacón, author of And the Shadows Took Him

Product Details

  • File Size: 3290 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743269586
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (June 20, 2006)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,254 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely novel gives human face to immigration June 9, 2006
As the public discourse over undocumented immigration becomes more heated and, at times, outright ugly -- particularly in the blogosphere -- attacks on such immigrants are often made in broad strokes and with gross generalizations.

This should not be a surprise, because it is easier to denigrate and reject a group of people if you dehumanize them and make them faceless.

But that's where talented writers come in: With skillful prose, they can focus on a small group of undocumented immigrants and make their struggles and humanity real to the reader so that it becomes difficult to dismiss their plight with a bumper-sticker slogan or the waving of a flag.

Two years ago, Luis Alberto Urrea did exactly that with "The Devil's Highway" (Little, Brown), in which he brilliantly chronicled the plight of 26 Mexican men who, in 2001, crossed the border into an area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil's Highway. Only 12 made it safely across. The book received wide acclaim and was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.

Now comes a fictionalized story of undocumented immigration in Reyna Grande's debut novel, "Across a Hundred Mountains" (Atria Books, $23). Grande tells her story in evocative language that never falls into pathos.

In the nonlinear narrative, chapters alternate between her two female protagonists, Juana Garcia and Adelina Vasquez. First, we have Juana, a young girl who lives in a small Mexican village in extreme poverty. When a flood leads to yet another death in her family -- a death that Juana feels responsible for -- Juana's father believes that he must earn more money to house his family in safer quarters.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read! October 5, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was selected for One Region, One Book in Southeastern Connecticut, where I used to live. That is how I became interested.
The novel has a cross-generational appeal and speaks to issues of our day. It effectively combines family history with the controversial subject of immigration reform. It is full of poignant drama, class and racial tensions and a heartwarming story of hope amidst despair. I would recommend it without reservation, both as a good read and an appeal to practice the golden rule!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book July 9, 2006
This was an excellent book, full of unsparing detail and sharp images. The two stories coincide and cross in a surprisingly possible way, with haunting twists and turns. After just reading Enrique's Journey, the crossing to El Otro Lado in this book reiterated the inhumanity of the border situation for me. A riveting book. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a Roller Coaster Ride May 30, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fast read. But prepare for it to catapult you in all directions before you approach the final (very satisfying) scene.

For those of you unfamiliar with the actual realities faced by Mexicans who look north for economic and personal freedom, this book truthfully and unromantically reflects a common narrative. It is a narrative I first heard from my own close friend, who crossed the border illegally at age 12 with her mother and younger siblings.

Grande provides us all with a realistic look at the lives of real people, but remembers to add the nonverbal, non-rational to her story in balanced but true measure. Carlos Castenada and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, bow to what the 21st century hath wrought! Reyna Grande.

I'm off to read Reyna Grande's next book, Dancing with Butterflies. I have a young college student, trying to make her way in the norteno world, stuck between her parents' ways and her American culture's, who dances folklorico like Nora dances the tarantella in A Doll's House. Perhaps this will be a good "recommend" for her.

Read Across a Hundred Mountains. Then share it with a friend.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good first novel December 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The story is compelling and well told. The allegory is sometimes too obvious, yet the book speaks with a voice not heard often enough. The allure and promise of the US on an immigrant population that is exploited, ignored and vilified driven by poverty and lack of opportunity. These people of the Americas are the people who understand the true meaning of the American dream, and who suffer and die for what most Americans have long taken for granted.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! April 11, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I met this authour at a recent conference, and bought the book. I read it in one day. It was one of those books you can't put down, but don't want to end. She has a unique style that is spare yet so vivid that you are transported into the story.

The story is so powerful that I cried and was rocked to my core.

I bought several copies to give to friends.

Ms. Grande is a gifted writer.

This book is a must read!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Across a Hundred Moutains: A Novel January 12, 2009
The book was interesting. An easy read, but seemed to be at a reading level that might have been appropriate for young adults.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and enlightening! September 11, 2006
I first had the pleasure of hearing Reyna read a snippet of this book at a local fair. Her prose was elegant and enchanting. It immediately caught my attention as did the subject matter of her book -- those left behind during the quest to reach the United States. When my parents fled Cuba my sister and I were left behind and it took nearly two years for us to be reunited so I could most definitely identify with this story. After reading the entire book, I was not disappointed by Reyna's larger than life storytelling. This is a great book by an author who has already made her mark on Latina literature with this debut. Not to be missed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The other side
This story is about Mexicans trying to get into the U.S., but from the point of view of Mexican people. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Patish 30
5.0 out of 5 stars The American Dream
I had to read this for a University Class with the topic of "The American Dream." The honesty and hardship represented in this book opened my eyes to a many number of things. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Deana Hero
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional
A very well-conceived and very well-written exposition of thought, philosophy, and insight in an engaging, well-told story. I am so very glad I bought this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by bigboppar
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
5 stars...because it was wonderfully written. I felt everything Juana was feeling. I think jr high to high school could read this.
Published 2 months ago by ChelleChee
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend
I really enjoyed this book. The author built the relationships well and provided a good understanding of the challenges families of illegal aliens face. Highly recommend!
Published 2 months ago by Leenda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Book was in great shape!
Published 3 months ago by Becky33
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and heartbreaking
Sometimes the pain of human circumstances are almost beyond be as ring, but somehow the strong survive. But not without enormous cost. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rev. Judith Kelsey-Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book is very sad it made me realize how fortunate I am.
Published 5 months ago by Veasna Mam
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very ood
Published 5 months ago by Earl
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More About the Author

Reyna Grande is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, The Distance Between Us, which the Los Angeles Times hailed as "the Angela's Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience." A National Book Critics Circle Awards finalist, the Distance Between Us is about Grande's life before and after coming to the U.S as an undocumented child immigrant. It is about what is lost and what is gained in the pursuit of a better life. The Distance Between Us is the 2014 One Maryland/One Book Selection and it is the Common Reading book at colleges and universities across the nation. Grande's first novel, Across A Hundred Mountains (Atria 2006), received an American Book Award (2007),the El Premio Aztlan Literary Award (2006), and a Latino Books Into Movies Award (2010). Grande's second novel, Dancing with Butterflies, was published in October 2009 to critical acclaim. It was the recipient of a 2010 International Latino Book Award and was selected by Las Comadres Para Las Americas National Book Club. Born in Mexico in 1975, Grande was raised by her grandparents after her parents left her behind while they worked in the U.S. She came to the U.S. at the age of nine as an undocumented immigrant and went on to become the first person in her family to obtain a higher education. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and Film and Video from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She is a sought-after speaker at middle/high schools, colleges and universities across the nation, and teaches creative writing workshops.

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