Cover image for The affairs of the falcóns : a novel / Melissa Rivero.
The affairs of the falcóns : a novel / Melissa Rivero.

First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]
Physical Description:
277 pages ; 24 cm.


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RIV Book Adult General Collection

On Order



A Recommended Book of 2019 from:

Southern Living * Buzzfeed * The Huffington Post * Bustle * Fierce * Hip Latina * Ms. Magazine * Alma * Library Journal * The Rumpus * The Millions * Refinery29 * Electric Literature

A stunning debut novel about a young undocumented Peruvian woman fighting to keep her family afloat in New York City

Ana Falcón, along with her husband Lucho and their two young children, has fled the economic and political strife of Peru for a chance at a new life in New York City in the 1990s. Being undocumented, however, has significantly curtailed the family's opportunities: Ana is indebted to a loan shark who calls herself Mama, and is stretched thin by unceasing shifts at her factory job. To make matters worse, Ana must also battle both criticism from Lucho's cousin--who has made it obvious the family is not welcome to stay in her spare room for much longer--and escalating and unwanted attention from Mama's husband.

As the pressure builds, Ana becomes increasingly desperate. While Lucho dreams of returning to Peru, Ana is deeply haunted by the demons she left behind and determined to persevere in this new country. But how many sacrifices is she willing to make before admitting defeat and returning to Peru? And what lines is she willing to cross in order to protect her family?

The Affairs of the Falcóns is a beautiful, deeply urgent novel about the lengths one woman is willing to go to build a new life, and a vivid rendering of the American immigrant experience.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

DEBUT With no intention of jeopardizing her marriage, Ana does just that while trying to start a new life with her family in New York City. Eager to leave behind Peru, with its prejudices and lack of opportunity, she gets a job as a seamstress in a factory while husband Lucho drives a cab. Their two young children become friends with Michael, the son of Lucho's relatives Valeria and Ruben, with whom they are living. Having little money, no green cards, and in fact no legitimate documents, they have few options. The extended family's small apartment is crowded, and Valeria's insecurities cause serious problems for Ana. These issues become a major threat to Ana's dream when Valeria demands they move out. The ambitious Ana attempts singlehandedly to face Valeria's temper, her family's constantly increasing debts, an unwanted pregnancy, and the ever-present fear of deportation. VERDICT Rivero's talent for storytelling and sympathetic portrayal of many characters propels this novel above the melodrama of the telenovelas that play in the background on Valeria's television. Book groups will thoroughly enjoy this vivid, inspired debut, a valuable addition to immigration literature. [See Prepub Alert. 10/14/18.]-Lisa Rohrbaugh, Leetonia Community P.L., OH © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.