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Rain of Gold Paperback – September 1, 1992

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038531177X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385311779
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Villasenor recounts the story of three generations of his family in this earthy Mexican American saga, gripping and inspirational despite occasional sentimentality.and cliches. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Victor Villasenor is the author of the nonfiction books Rain of Gold and Jury: The People vs. Juan Corona, and the novel, Macho! He has written several screenplays, including the award-winning The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. Villasenor continues to live on the North County San Diego ranch where he grew up.

Customer Reviews

When I start reading time flies and it's hard to put the book down.
Villasenor is an amazing writer, he is very talented at telling the story of his grandparents, I have read the book twice, and cant wait to read it again.
Villasenor gives a beautiful historic narative that beautifully captures the time and story of his family's migration to the US from a war torn Mexico.
Melvin Jimenez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Nora Razon on April 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Rain of Gold is a book written by Victor Villaseñor an author of Mexican Heritage. Villaseñor wrote this book when he felt the urge to pas down to his children the history behind their name. Villaseñor traveled to Mexico and after years of hard work and several conflicts he published "Rain of Gold", the biography of his family. In "Rain of Gold" Villaseñor describes with full detail the lives of his ancestors in Mexico and later in the United States. More than just a story, Villaseñor gives a vivid image of life during the Mexican Revolution {the times of Pancho Villa}. He explains how his family was forced as well as other families to abandon their beloved country because of the violence and danger the Mexican Revolution brought to its citizens. Villaseñor also explains the hardships his family had to got through to adapt and survive prejudice, hunger and unfair work in the states. Not only does Villaseñor capture the struggles of his family but also the exciting and glorious moments his ancestors lived. This book has a vivid message to everybody of Mexican background. Especially to teenagers who usually don't get the chance to be taught their history with out somebody making fun or putting down their culture. This is the first book that I have truly related to, because of my Mexican background and hardships I've faced in this country. This is a book you just can't stop reading because you get so close to the characters. By the end of the book I assure you that not only will you know all of the people in the book but you will also respect and consider them part of your family! More importantly, I recommend this book to everybody who has parents or somebody who has immigrated to this country in search of opportunities and better life.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John Michael Towle on January 8, 2008
Format: Turtleback
I am a 57 year old gringo living in Southern Arizona and received this book from a friend of mine who is related to the author. I did not expect much and the beginning had me wondering if I would make it through all 500+ pages of small print. It did not take very long for me to realize that this book was well above ordinary. Prior to reading this book, I personally had gotten the most enjoyment from " East of Eden " and " The Agony and The Ecstacy " and place Mr. Villasenor's novel along side both. I cried and laughed like hell and as a lifelong Catholic, was deeply moved by the incredible faith of both of his grandmothers. Some of the other reviewers were put off by his technique, I was not. I very much agree with those who found great enjoyment from this book, as I had a difficult time putting it down and experienced a real sadness as I read the final words, I did not want it to end. Mr. Victor Villasenor is one heck of a storyteller and I feel blessed to have entered into his family through his written words.

John Towle - Vail, Az.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By therosen VINE VOICE on October 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book started slow. It came as a gift from a friend, and just the size was intimidating. As I started, all the talk of religeon, miracles and spirits was a bit much for a supposedly true family history. The more I read, the better it got. The history of how Mr. Villasenor's grandparents came to America and met is an epic of love, transcendence and overcoming odds. If you can make it past page 20, you won't put it down.

It would have been very easy for this to be a whitewashed view of the world. Instead, the author confronts some of the darker sides of his family history. Many relatives spent time in jail. Grandpa was a bootlegger. Many of his great-aunts and uncles were jealous at the best of times, and awful at the worst. Yet somehow a great story emerges.

I can only imagine the effort required to produce this book. Mr. Villasenor, your effort was well worth it.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By EJS on July 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Reading this book was a feast for the mind, the heart and the soul. About two-thirds of the way through I found myself mourning the fact that it would end. And mourn it I did after I finished the last page, closed the book and held it to my chest in breathless silence.
Many of the reviews listed here regale the beauty with which it was written, the rich history it embodies, and the values it imparts, but none touch on the aspect that swept me into its pages. While this story is about the family, it is the stalwart women, who evolve into the elderly matriarchs of the family, whose wisdom anchor it in its humanity. The mothers are honored for their unique and powerful place in the family. Their stories and their words offer guidance and comfort that is timeless and as applicable today as they were within the context of the story. For this reason, I recommend that when you read Rain of Gold, you do so from a copy that you own, so you can mark the words of wisdom that touch you -- you will want to reference them again and again -- and thereby honor these women in your own life.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "larar1" on August 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I was an English Literature major in college in the early 1990s, I wrote my senior thesis on the significance of Chicano literature. "Rain of Gold" was included in my study. It is a beautifully written book and a tremendously valuable contribution to American literature.
In Victor Villasenor's "Rain of Gold," the dominant theme or metaphor is the struggle for survival. The mythic structure provides a rich and meaningful context for the characters and their inner struggle for identity and survival. "Rain of Gold" is the story of two parallel lives -- those of Juan Salvador and Lupe Gomez, characters delineated from Villasenor's real-life mother and father, who grow up with their respective families in two distant towns in Mexico and meet as young adults in California.
The novel can be divided into three parts: the families trying to survive in Mexico, but opting to find a better life in the U.S.; their harsh and harrowing journeys through the rough terrain of the Mexican deserts; and finally, their miraculous arrival and struggle in the U.S. The novel challenges the reader to experience the harsh realities of the characters' hardships and triumphs. Their struggle is internal and personal. Villasenor's adherence to myth, religion and a little of the magical paints a vivid image of a people -- survivors not only of physical challenges, but spiritual ones as well. His story is well detailed and well developed. It is truly an epic in every sense of the word.
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