Book Highlight: Esperanza by Tommy Tutalo

Book Review: Esperanza by Tommy Tutalo - a fictional novel about illegal immigration and drug cartels

Title: Esperanza

Author: Tommy Tutalo

Publisher: Self-published

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Genre: Multicultural Fiction

Three journals left behind by Gabriela, after her untimely death, for her daughter, Sarita, a young adult, become windows into the past. The past then becomes alive, as Sarita reads through the journals, and learns more about the life of Gabriela, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, who seeks the American Dream, and Dante, an artist, who seeks redemption. Both are united and divided by a crime syndicate, Nada Mas, and eventually, what binds them back together is a child, Sarita. It is after both Gabriela and Dante break ties with Nada Mas that Gabriela is abducted, held captive, and forcefully deported back to Mexico, and Dante, who is seeking refuge in Mexico, takes Sarita with him, from New Jersey, cross country, to Mexico, and back, all while two separate branches of the FBI are pursuing Dante, along with Nada Mas. In the end Sarita learns about her true origins, and Dante and Gabriela, discover truth.

Why This Book

Esperanza is a beautiful, if sometimes painful, story of three people whose lives become deeply entangled: Gabriela, who entered the US illegally in search of a better life; Dante, an artist with a checkered past who seeks redemption; and Sarita, Gabriela’s daughter who will do anything to find her mother who was taken from her. This wasn’t always the easiest book to read, but the thread of hope that wove through the entire book was absolutely stunning and beautiful.

I chose Esperanza because one of the main characters is a child. Sarita was darling, but her life was anything but easy. At times she really did feel very much like a typical child. But, other times, her life just felt so weighted down with things a child should not have to deal with. Throughout it all, though, she was lovely and smart and, as much as her story pained me at times, I adored everything about her.


My review: “This is a heavy read. It deals with difficult topics. It places characters in difficult and seemingly impossible situations. It sometimes felt insanely bleak. At the same time, there was a beautiful thread of hope woven throughout”

Self-Publishing Review gave this 4 stars, saying “at the core of this novel are thoroughly compelling and enriching characters, and a moving storyline. Sarita is a wonderful character to act as the impetus for the story, but the passionate Dante and the fiery Gabriela dominate the action and attention. They are philosophically wise, but sincerely flawed, and ultimately human. Their relationship, and the sacrifices that bleed out on the page, work to make this a mesmerizing story that readers won’t soon forget”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thrift Books | Better World Books | Google Books|

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