La Familia de los Santos
by Lita de los Santos, 2009. ISBN n/a.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 03/22/2010

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Relationships

Lita de los Santos has written a charming memoir of her childhood intertwined with the story of her father and mother, Apa and Ama. The tale is flavored with many words in Spanish creating an authentic framework. The less obvious words have been translated for the English reader.

De los Santos grew up with fifteen brothers and sisters on a small farm in Texas during the Depression. Life was not easy, but there was always the familia. The children of the de los Santos family often clamored for stories and riddles after a hard day. Apa, de los Santos' father, crossed the border from Mexico to the United States as a pre-teen after his mother and sisters were slain by revolutionaries. De los Santos shows Apa recalling adventures during his childhood and youth, building a railroad, and spending time with Mr. Brelsford, an employer who taught him both oral and written English. Many more adventures follow, including meeting his wife and his special, long-term relationship with Mr. Brelsford. Much of the story is of warm family relationships, full of joy and laughter. De los Santos tells tales on herself as well, as it seems that she was full of spunk and vinegar. Her story flows evenly, portraying her family history both in Texas and Mexico, and giving a realistic look at one Hispanic family.

Lita de los Santos was born the fifteenth child in a Mexican-American Texas family. She has been a member of a Story Circle Network OWL-Circle (Older Woman's Legacy) group for many years. Others in the group encouraged her to publish her story.

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