It’s not an easy book to read. The themes weigh on you—struggle, injury, the immigrant experience, guilt, love, and responsibility. It is described this way in the Glenview Reads Together booklet: Their journeys and voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart. Not exactly light and uplifting, but life isn’t always light and uplifting. And like some things in your life and some people in your life, important books sometimes break your heart.
So I read on. I am excited about Glenview Reads Together, One Community, Many Stories, our community-wide reading program, where over the five weeks from 16 September-21 October 2018 we will participate in discussions at a variety of places in Glenview, attend workshops, take in a Mexican ballet, and even learn to make tamales.
Excited about the Glenview community experience, it was time. With dad, kids, and family pup gathered, I read the first chapter aloud. It was a long 11 pages. My family wasn’t anxious for chapter two the next night. That’s okay. I am reading, relaying, and selectively reading passages aloud. School has begun now. They are getting the gist of the book and will be able to follow along at the community discussions that we are looking forward to in a few weeks.
One community, many stories. We are getting through The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. I am reminded of the Book of Genesis, the Book of Esther, the Book of Matthew, the Book of Mormon–the human condition as revealed through the lens of families. It is a good book, very well written and important for our time. I’m glad we are reading it. And we look forward to the next one.