Classic · fiction · Short Stories

The House on Mango Street

“Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky.” – Sandra Cisneros

Why I’m Reading this Book?

In my quest of reading short novels I stumbled upon this gem. I’ve read digital version of this book and since book was very small, I didn’t strain my eyes too much.

My Review…

This book is a series of vignettes. Those who don’t know what that means (like me), vignette is a brief evocative description. Book has diary like entries written over a period of time by a young Latina girl growing up in a neighborhood of Chicago.

With childlike innocence she talks about challenges her family face when they have to move out frequently and finally move in to a house on mango street. With a big family, this house is not what she expected, but it’s her house for now nevertheless. There is a lot of musings about various topics , like neighbors, new friends, her name (Esperanza) and her disliking for it, poverty, her sister, school etc. We as a reader get a glimpse into Esperanza’s world and see her entering into adolescences.

Esperanza shows how growing up in a Latino community is. What are her ambitions, what she wants to be or not to be, how are her friends, her first betrayal, her protective feelings towards her sister.

There are some very funny incidents, some sad, some heartbreaking and some just observations. It’s really like reading the diary of a child. And it gives the same pleasure as child has a unique way to see the world and it’s very refreshing to see it from their eyes.

In not so many words or graphic details, this book also touches on child abuse, bullying, molestation and teen pregnancy. So, you can understand, that children see everything, they feel everything although they may comprehend it in a different way.

Overall, this was a good read, short, simple and refreshing.

My Rating – 3

On the scale of: (1- Hate , 2- Neither like nor dislike, 3- Like, 4- Love, 5- Gaga)

Why anyone else should read this Book?

This book is actually in the reading list of various inter-schools and universities and translated in many languages all over the world. Story of Esperanza has the skill to connect with a reader of any age. It has a nostalgic feeling to it which can remind one of their own childhood.

Book is very short and can be finished in one sitting. I finished it in one day on my commute to and from office.

And final reason of reading it should be opening our mind to different cultures, stories, experiences. I like reading authors from different ethnicity and author of this book is Mexican-American who wrote this book as semi-autobiography. While reading this book, I could smell the rich Latino culture and learn a thing or two.


Have you read it? Are you planning to? What is your opinion? Share them here. Till next time, Happy Reading Folks!!!

Love- Richa

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