Into the Beautiful North

“Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea (Mexico)


Describing it as a charming story, readers said they enjoyed this book. They liked the descriptions of place especially the ones the protagonists pass through on their way north. They loved the easy language and weren’t bothered by the use of Spanish phrases scattered throughout the dialogues. Readers loved the different characters finding some quirky and others naive. They agreed that they were more like caricatures of types of people than strong characters per se. Most readers appreciated that the serious topics of immigration and border crossings were dealt with in a light-hearted way and really enjoyed the various humorous scenes especially the ones with Atomiko. However, one reader felt that the mixture of serious topics with what she described as ‘an adventure story for teenagers’ wasn’t believable and she didn’t like the combination. Overall, it averaged a 7.2 out of 10.


Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn’t the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village – they’ve all gone north… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 21 (Oct 2017 – Feb 2018)
“Embers” by Sandor Marai (Hungary)
“Human Acts” by Han Kang (South Korea)
“Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea (Mexico)
“Lyrics Alley” by Leila Aboulela (Sudan) *
“Shantytown” by César Aira (Argentina)

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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