85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
A Tapestry of Experiences,
This review is from: The House on Mango Street (Paperback)
I teach English to speakers of other languages at the high school level. For the past five years I have been reading _The House on Mango Street_ with some of my classes. Not only is it the highlight of the year for me, but for my students as well.
Cisneros's magnificently lyrical prose forces us to see the world through the perspective of an adolescent Latina. Don't let the simple sentences and short chapters fool you. Beneath the surface lies a rich network of themes: poverty, child abuse, rape, spousal abuse, the importance of education, hypocrisy, and a host of others.
If you're looking for a linear story with a clearly defined plot, look elsewhere. Cisneros paints in broad strokes, and her canvas is multi-colored. Seen from up close, each chapter is a self-contained beauty. Seen from a distance, the chapters come together to reveal a masterpiece of Latino literature; it is by turns a feminist novel, a bildungsroman, and a chronicle of the will's triumph. The book has affected me profoundly, and with each new reading I find more to admire about it.