My thoughts on The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham | Spoiler-free | Non-fiction

The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American LifeThe Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life by Lauren Markham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(3.5 stars)

“To be so very lucky and so terribly unlucky could disorient a person. You never knew where the next punch might come from, or if it would come at all.”

The Far Away Brothers is an account of the horrific life led by thousands in El Salvador. It’s about the issues and dangers lurking in and around the region and how the only option left for, what seems like, safety is to flee and make a new life for oneself on an alien land. But does fleeing put an end to the miseries?

Families are left separated and broken. They are forced to face injustice and ill-treatment towards their kin and themselves. The area, ruled by gangs, has only violence and death to offer. So does the fleeing.

I was completely clueless about what these people go through until I read this book. Now, I carry a perspective of and great fear for their lives. When did humankind shrink to such a low?

The immigrants have lost almost everything they’ve ever lived for, their family, home, livelihood – everything. They’re forced to travel to alien places, another dangerous route, in hopes to restart their lives. But instead of meeting people offering a hand to help or shelter, they face even more cruelty and violence. Many lose their lives, are raped or robbed off anything that was essential for them to survive the longest journey of their lives.

Many of these are as young as, or even younger, than the Flores twins – seventeen. And unaccompanied. t’s hard to even imagine children as young as them to first, face violence in their homeland and then all alone in an alien place.

Markham, who has experienced and studied a great deal about undocumented immigration for a decade, spent two years researching for this book. She draws her experience from working with immigrant students at Oakland International High School. She chose to write about twins to share stories about how each immigrant has their own feelings and lessons from their stories and how they’ve been impacted.

As for my reading experience, the writing style is good and gripping. However, I would’ve enjoyed (for lack of a better word) it more had it been a slightly less descriptive. Having said that, the author was able to paint a real picture of what the protagonists were going through and it did change a lot of things for me for good.

Thank you Blogging for Books and Crown Publishing for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

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