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House Divided (Class H Trilogy) Paperback – January 28, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Class H Trilogy
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446507768
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446507769
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,777,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the near future, Manolo Suarez is one of the leaders of the Hispanic rebel movement in America, fighting for the freedom of Hispanic Americans, who have been relegated to quarantine zones in the Southwest. The movement has delegates at the UN fighting for a new Hispanic nation to be separated from the U.S. Escalating violence from the quarantine zones has led to their military surveillance, and many members of the Hispanic population begin to favor gang-led violence and guerrilla warfare against non-Hispanic civilians. Manolo’s son, Pedro, is persuaded to join one of these violent gangs, but his determination wavers when he is forced to kidnap Sarah, daughter of Hank Evans, a high-ranking CIA official. Sarah’s and Pedro’s lives both hang in the balance in this brutal and segmented story that extrapolates the current racial tension in the U.S. to a place in which Hispanics no longer have citizenship or contact with non-Hispanic Americans. Though the cast of this novel is so large that individual characterization sometimes becomes lost, overall it uses a suspenseful plot to tell an important story. --Julie Hunt

More About the Author

Author Highlights:

- Best Novel Award Winner - International Latino Book Awards
- Violet Crown Awards Fiction Finalist, Writers League of Texas
- Books Into Movies Award Winner - presented by Edward James Olmos
- USA Today Summer Reads author
- LATINA Magazine "10 Hottest Summer Reads" author
- Named #1 among "2011 Top Ten Latino Authors" by LatinoStories.com
- Listed among "Best Hispanic Writers of the 21st century" by ChaCha.com
- Amazon Bestselling 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. Ramos began his debut novel America Libre in 2004 with the input of scholars from Latin America, Spain, and the United States. A multiple award winner, the author and his work have been featured on television, radio and print media across the U.S. and abroad.

In his own words...

"January" is the first English word I ever learned. I read it on the calendar thumbtacked to the wall of our apartment in the Bronx. Han-noo-a-ree, I pronounced it. That was in the winter of 1957. My mother had just divorced my father and moved us from Havana to New York City. My father was busy trying to overthrow Batista and my mother thought her prospects for raising a seven-year-old son looked much better sewing sequins on evening gowns in the midtown garment district than in a Cuban prison. Thanks, mamá. You made the right call.

Since mastering that first English word, the power and joy of words have become my life. I not only love words, I've made a living from them. First, composing them into pages as a graphic designer, and later arranging them into sentences as an advertising writer. After twenty-four years of creating the fiction commonly known as advertising, I decided to start telling my own stories.

Reflecting on my past, it's not surprising I would write about a rebellion. I saw one unfold firsthand between 1957 and 1961 in Cuba. Staying with my father during summer breaks from U.S. schooling, I experienced the life of an insurgent. My father and uncle ran contraband supplies to Castro using a used tire business as a cover. Perhaps most sobering was learning how fragile a government can be. Fulgencio Batista fled the island in 1959. Overnight, the police and military no longer had the might to maintain public order.

Castro's sudden rise to power transformed Cuba. During the anti-American rallies Castro fomented, I heard my relatives shout hateful slogans about people I knew and loved in Miami. Castro was preparing Cuba for war and I saw how some leaders use hate, fear, and patriotism for their own ends. As an eleven-year-old I received military weapons training. That's how desperate Castro's war preparations were.

Thanks to my mother, I managed to escape. She returned to Cuba and arranged a trip for us to visit relatives in Madrid. When our flight made a stop in Bermuda, we got off the plane. Eventually, we were able to return to the United States. Fifty years would pass before we had any contact with our Cuban relatives. These experiences were the wellspring for many of the characters and scenes of America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reading this book is like watching an action adventure movie.
Aurelia E. Flores
Americans have a common enemy to fight, and Ramos y Sanchez makes an eloquent appeal to us all to stand united against this most treacherous of foes.
Domenick Cimei
The setting and plot were very gripping, and I had a hard time putting the book down, even when it was finished.
JustOneMore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kate Hagenbuch on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Imagine a war-torn country divided by hatred among conflicting groups. Then imagine yourself living in that country - the United States of America. In light of increasing vitriol and violent outbreaks, House Divided is a cautionary tale for our time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beau Tramp on January 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
This second book in the trilogy picks up where the first book ended, and the power of the story and the realism of the characters in this one build on the high levels attained in the first.

It's a great read, entertaining and engaging. But reading it with an awareness of what's happening in our nation right now makes it seem like a history book written in the near future, an amazing concurrence of fiction, the past, and the potential future of the United States of America regarding what may be its most influential current segment. The author's perspective provides such a balanced view that it's difficult at times to know which side to cheer for.

But you will cheer for the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rose A. Valenta on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From a woman's perspective, I especially liked Rosa's relationship with Celia, a local curandera (faith healer); but I don't want to spoil this engaging novel for you by giving away the good parts. Just put this one on your "must read" list. One scene was written so well, it had me multi-tasking - dodging bullets, while smelling and craving cake. You will love reading this book by prolific author, Raul Ramos y Sanchez.
America Libre House Divided
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Efrain Ortiz Jr. on January 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Raul Ramos y Sanchez has taken this, his second novel, to new heights. As I read through the pages of House Divided I felt the fluidity of the story as if I had never put down his first novel, America Libre. I absolutely love the way Raul brings a new twist to his tale of an America divided by civil war. This novel, much like his first, is a must read for all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Domenick Cimei on January 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
First, some full disclosure is in order. I loved the first novel in this series by Raul Ramos y Sanchez: America Libre. It is an important, disturbing and provocative work that depicts a frightening America of the future, deeply fractured by Latino-Anglo civil war. So I admit I was a bit wary when I began reading the second novel, House Divided. So often with books and films, the follow-up is disappointing, paling in comparison with the original. This is not the case with this book.

At turns, exciting, pensive and heartbreaking, House Divided is delivered as a body blow to the American conscience. The novel picks up where the preceding one left off. But this time, the positions are far more polarized, the brutality far more horrific...on both sides. The central character is once again Manolo Suarez, a leader of the resistance, who is forced to fight for the survival of his people and his family. Suarez is a richly compelling character; not a willing warrior, but a tortured, complex man often at war with his own soul. In this book as in the first, there are no easy choices and no simple solutions. Each of the characters face gut-wrenching decisions that determine their own fate, as well as the outcome of the struggle. Inevitably and tragically, they lose a part of themselves in the process.

It's important to note that for a novel that pivots on action, this work is not a broadsword but rather, a rapier. Ramos y Sanchez is not afraid to let the storyline "breathe." He doesn't ram conflict or confrontation down the reader's throat, but punctuates the story with moments of indecision and reflection. As a reader, I was allowed to think about the consequences of the characters' life-turning choices. As a result, I did not feel "manipulated" by the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aurelia E. Flores on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
Rarely have I seen a storyline that is so educational, thought-provoking and yet (dare I say?) fun! Ironic that the author is able to do this with a current topic that is both so timely and also so painful: immigration and the perception of Latinos in the mainstream U.S. lens. And yet he does.
A traditional sci-fi tactic is to take a current controversial current issue, and ask, "What if...?" and play it out to the extreme.
Ramos y Sanchez does this, and makes the ride exciting, if at times a bit gut-wrenching, because he uses traditional themes, as well. Teenage angst and rebellion, government bureaucracy, going against the grain to stay true to one's morals, and watching a movement that one strongly believes in take a drastic turn for the worse are all topics woven into the storyline.
Reading this book is like watching an action adventure movie. However, at the same time, it's a drama and you come to care about the characters.
Lest you get carried away: all the characters are deeply flawed, and you find yourself gritting your teeth at their "obvious" mistakes, while rooting for them at the same time - even if they're on `opposite sides' of the fence.
Like America Libre, A House Divided weaves in historical lessons and insights. And at the end of the day, no one is blameless. Ramos y Sanchez demonstrates we are *all* part of creating the community we want - or allowing others to create their vision. Which do we choose? The choice is ours.
Definitely buy and recommend this book!
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