Book Highlight: Esperanza by Tommy Tutalo

esperanza tommy tutalo book highlight
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: 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 the kind of book I’ll be thinking of for a long time. There’s a focus on illegal immigration in this book. Considering I live in Southern California, illegal immigration is something I’m familiar with. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve met illegal immigrants and never knew it. Growing up here, it was just a fact of life. But, after reading this book, my eyes have been opened a little more. There’s much to it I don’t know, and I definitely never knew how so many of them were treated and used. So I’m thankful for this book for teaching me things I should have known.


My review: “This book appalled and touched me. The characters were outstanding and my heart felt their stories. Lyrical it may not be, but beautiful it is, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to review Esperanza.”

Readers’ Favorite said “Esperanza dances between the past and present, bringing to its pages fiction that is so timely and so true to life that it could pass as a non-fiction story if it wanted to. Gabriela and Dante’s story of an illegal migration into the United States through Mexico is enough to stand alone, but the trials of their relationship in the midst of a horrible entanglement with a cartel is brought to the forefront and catapults the narrative from an emotional drama to a suspenseful thriller”

Kirkus said “Tutalo skillfully maps it all out in a nonlinear narrative, clearly establishing each scene even as the story bounces between different points in time. It maintains a consistent sense of momentum throughout, aided by short chapter lengths”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thrift Books | Better World Books | Google Books | Flipkart (India)

Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.

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