“The story of the de La Cruzes is the quintessential American story… It takes us into a world we have not known, while reflecting back on the hopes and dreams of our own families.”



This is the story of the DeLa Cruz family, a Mexican-American family.  In this large family there are two brothers, big Angel and little Angel, hence the title of the book.

Miguel Angel DeLa Cruz is now the head of the family since his Father died.  He is dying of cancer.  At the same time his mother passes away and since her funeral is one day before his birthday, he decides to throw himself one last birthday party, and the entire family is invited.

Little Angel is his half brother, a child from his dad’s second marriage.   They have a close but also bitter relationship because of the father, yet Little Angel will make the drive all the way from San Diego to be there.  With flashbacks we learn the history of this family, Miguel’s son and Nephew who were gunned down in the Neighborhood, his estranged son who he hasn’t seen in over ten years, his love for his wife and daughters, and how he continues to keep control of this family.

The story takes place over the two days of the funeral and the party.  It takes us into the Mex-American experience, and how the legal and illegal try to blend into our society.  It is told with humor, sadness, violence and love.  It is a terrific book, not to be missed.

Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 22nd May 2018

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Richard Franco