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Review: House Divided by Raul Ramos y Sanchez

[ 4 ] March 10, 2011 |

Reviewed by Nikki Flores

Imagine a world in the not-so-distant future where Hispanic immigrants and American citizens are no longer living in harmony in the United States. In an effort to help control immigration, the U.S. government labels all Hispanics “class H” and forces them to live in dilapidated quarantine zones in Los Angeles. Fed up with their sub-par treatment and second-class citizen classification, underground Hispanic extremist groups are growing in momentum and plotting their revenge. Such is the world that Raul Ramos y Sanchez creates in his second book, House Divided.

Mano Suarez, his wife, Rosa, and their son, Pedro, have all been living in a war-torn zone for as long as they can remember. Influenced by the deaths of his two other children, Mano becomes a prominent leader of a revolutionary movement that’s fighting for the freedom of Hispanic Americans. With little progress being made, tensions mount among rebel members, and a gang breaks off from the group and starts lashing out on innocent non-Hispanic civilians. The young and easily-influenced Pedro is lured into becoming an active member of the terrorist gang, which pulls Mano in multiple directions as he struggles to simultaneously try to bring down the gang and continue his freedom fight without losing his son in the process.

Although the book’s main characters are Mano, Rosa and Pedro, Raul Ramos y Sanchez weaves in viewpoints from other prominent characters as well. Unfortunately, the secondary characters are not as fully-developed as the Suarez’s, which makes it much harder to connect with them on an emotional level and follow the underlining story.

With that said, I enjoyed reading House Divided, as it blurred the lines of right and wrong in a war-torn nation, and it allowed the reader to see a glimpse of what could happen in America, should immigration tensions continue to rise.

(NOTE: I read House Divided without reading America Libre, Raul Ramos y Sanchez’s first book in the series)

Rating: 3/5

Nikki Flores (aka CluelessMe) is an avid writer and reader. She first hit the blogging scene with the Clueless Newlywed Blog, which catalogued the unique adventures surrounding herself and her new husband. No longer a newlywed and expecting her first child, Nikki continues her telling her light-hearted stories at Cluelessme.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Grand Central Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Category: Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Political

Comments (4)

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  1. 4

    I can see soemthing like this happening if we can’t find a way to all work together. The gangs are already a huge problem in most places and they are only going to get worst if something isn’t done.

    I found it interesting that the secondary characters weren’t as developed as the main characters. I think authors sometimes do this in books where they want the main characters to really be understood because they are what the story is about and they want readers to really get a feel for them and the secondary characters who might get more fleshed out in subsequent books.

    Because we have seen things similar to this happen with Hitler, it’s easy to imagine it happening again because so many of us are sheep and will follow anyone who seems to know what they are tlaking about even if they are totally nuts. That’s how cults have followers and keep them in line, because some people need someone to follow.
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  2. 3
    Carol Wong says:

    This book shows what could happen if people who are anti-immgrants get voted in. If people had to carry an ID card like in the book, the gangs would be an even stronger problem than now. It is very difficult for immigrants living 13 or 14 in a small house to have hope. What if there is no money to buy food? In east LA and parts close to it, there is a different world, huge needs and very minumal opportunities. While the book may not be well written, it does shine a light on a very serious problem.

    Carol Wong

  3. 2
    Nikki Flores says:

    Colleen:

    It was an interesting topic. As I was reading it, I couldn’t help think about the times in our history when things like this has already happened (i.e. Jews and concentration camps, Japanese-Americans and internment camps, etc.). House Divided is also a reminder that history can and does repeat itself if you forget about it.
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  4. 1
    Colleen Turner says:

    What an interesting topic for a book! If you think about it, it is easy to see something horrific like this happening in America (and, to some extent, you already see it in some segments of the minority population). You would think the people of the world would realize that when you try to push people down and denigrate them to little more than animals you are going to get rebellion and a fight to right the unbalance the so called “leaders” have created. And, once rebellion begins, even organized, peaceful rebellion is going to have people spinning off into gangs and violent fighting to make the point known and quickly. I will have to check this book out! Thanks for the review!

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