It makes me sad that I totally missed out on #Diversiverse created by Aarti from Book Lust. October started creeping by, the readathon got closer and closer, and poof! All my time was gone. But that doesn't mean I haven't been reading diversely, and today I want to shine a spotlight on a gem of a book that's probably not new to anyone, though it was new to me: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
I picked this book up for the fact that it's small, an easy read for #15in31, but I loved it for Cisneros's rich writing. The book is only a little over 100 pages, and it's written in vignettes about a young girl growing up in inner-city Chicago. Esperanza Cordero is not satisfied with her house on Mango Street. She sees it as impermanent and sub-par as she observes her neighbors and their quirks and frustrations. Her observations are those of a child, but she grows throughout the book and you can see her making plans for herself. Stretching her writing legs with hopes of building a future.
It's such a short, simple book, but it's so lovely and complicated all the same. Esperanza has to make sense of the abuse, poverty, and woeful people around her, and to observe these things through a young woman growing into her own provides plenty of astute observations.
This book had a bigger impact on me than I expected. For something so small, it packs a punch. The only other book I've read by Cisneros is Caramelo, and while it's longer, I seem to remember it mimicking this short, episodic structure, which really works for me. I'll get to the stories in Woman Hollering Creek as soon as I can.
Vintage, April 1991