The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life

The Far Away Brothers Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador s violence to build new lives in California fighting to survive to stay and to belong Growing up in rural El Salvador in t

  • Title: The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life
  • Author: Lauren Markham
  • ISBN: 9781101906187
  • Page: 242
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador s violence to build new lives in California fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong.Growing up in rural El Salvador in the wake of the civil war, Ernesto Flores had always had a fascination with the United States, the faraway land of skyscrapers and Nikes, while his identical twin, Raul, neverThe deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador s violence to build new lives in California fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong.Growing up in rural El Salvador in the wake of the civil war, Ernesto Flores had always had a fascination with the United States, the faraway land of skyscrapers and Nikes, while his identical twin, Raul, never felt that northbound tug But when Ernesto ends up on the wrong side of the region s brutal gangs he is forced to flee the country, and Raul, because he looks just like his brother, follows close behind away from one danger and toward the great American unknown.In this urgent chronicle of contemporary immigration, journalist Lauren Markham follows the seventeen year old Flores twins as they make their harrowing journey across the Rio Grande and the Texas desert, into the hands of immigration authorities, and from there to their estranged older brother s custody in Oakland, CA Soon these unaccompanied minors are navigating a new school in a new language, working to pay down their mounting coyote debt, and facing their day in immigration court, while also encountering the triumphs and pitfalls of life as American teenagers girls, grades, Facebook with only each other for support With intimate access and breathtaking range, Markham offers a coming of age tale that is also a nuanced portrait of Central America s child exodus, an investigation of U.S immigration policy, and an unforgettable testament to the migrant experience.

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    1 thought on “The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life”

    1. 3.75 stars Publishing on 9/12/17Thank you to First-to-Read for this ARC in return for an honest review. This is an immigration story. The story of seventeen year old Raul and Ernesto Flores - who fled from El Salvador to Texas in 2013. It tells of the harrowing experience of life in El Salvador for these twins - with their uncle trying to kill them - and what their $7000 each bought them in the illegal trip through Mexico and into the United States. It tells of their reunion with a older illegal [...]

    2. For those of us who live in comfortable surroundings in well-ordered towns such as Berkeley, the day-to-day realities of life as experienced by undocumented migrants may be impossible to understand. Most of what we know comes from news reports and occasional exposés about the efforts of the Trump Administration to expel what Right-Wing politicians have insisted we call "illegal immigrants." In The Far Away Brothers, Berkeley journalist Lauren Markham brings the lived experience of two young Sal [...]

    3. To solve a problem one must understand what caused it and address its root causes. That is a hard thing, requiring work and effort and creative thinking. Why not just make the problem illegal?We have been trying that and it does not seem to work. "Just say no" to sex or drugs, prison sentences for drug possession, throwing a pregnant teenage daughter out of the house--none of these ever solved anything.Illegal immigration has become the issue of the day under the present administration. Migrants [...]

    4. This very timely story focuses on the travails of twin 17-year old brothers escaping from the gangs and violence of El Salvador to "go north". Their older brother (their "far away" brother) had crossed over about 7 years earlier and had managed to pay off the ~$6K that he owed to the coyote who accompanied him on the journey. The price has gone up, and the twins each have to pay $6-7K. Their large poor family can't raise that kind of money, so put up one of their plots of land as collateral. The [...]

    5. (3.5 stars)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 violenc [...]

    6. Illegal immigration and border control has recently been a hot topic in the U.S. The influx of undocumented and unaccompanied minors has increased. What are these children risking and enduring to come to the U.S.? Markham has given us a human element to add to the discussion.Markham has recreated the story of teen El Salvadoran twins who came into the U.S. illegally. We find out about the civil war in that country, gang violence, the pressure to join a gang, and the kidnappings for ransom. We fi [...]

    7. It's an interesting story (the only reason I kept reading), but the writing was very bad. 3 things annoyed me the most:-Way too many unimportant statistics (made it seem like a research paper, at times)-No ending at all-Too many unnecessary & boring dialogs, details etc

    8. America, sing me a dream,how you kissed The Flag and let out a scream.Same old immigrant tale,turnstile through INS, brand new experiences, in awe, the pull between old and new countries,it ends badly, heroically, all of it unrememberedbrothers they ghost, ghosting.Chris Roberts, God Today

    9. This novel tells the journey of immigration from El Salvador, for three older sons of the Flores family. It goes into details of why they had to send their first son and then following him a few years later, their twin sons. It gives details of a country in economic and political turmoil overrun by gang violence. This was my first Blogging for Books novel that was sent to me from Crown Publishers. I was excited to read it because they asked me, and I wanted to try more documentary type books [...]

    10. 4.75 stars.I tend to be attracted to books that showcase timely social issues in a readable, narrative format. This is just such a book. This is the true story of Ernesto and Raul Flores, identical twins who left their home in El Salvador in 2013 and illegally came to America without their parents at the age of 17. In their small rural town, the twins live with seven other siblings and their parents in crippling poverty and in constant fear of violent criminal gangs, which rule the countries of [...]

    11. Current, breathtakingly relevant, tragic, hopefulMs. Markham immersed herself in the Flores brothers' lives on a personal level and in a broad worldview spectrum. I didn't just get their story but the stories of thousands who are fleeing the most horrific lives, trying to get to the United States. I've been far removed from this, living in the frozen north, only reading the newspaper articles that pop up on Twitter; I'd be ashamed, but it gave me a very clean brain with which to read this book. [...]

    12. I received this book as a giveaway. Lauren Markham expertly narrates the story of the twin Flores brothers' journey to becoming Americans. We follow their tale from when they depart El Salvador to when they enter the US and are shortly thereafter caught by border patrol. The story of the Flores brothers is not unlike what many immigrants experience and calls attention to the social and economic problems many face in Central America. Well researched, The Far Away Brothers is interlaced with Mark [...]

    13. Very well researched & written, this book tells the story of twin brothers who fled to U.S. from El Salvador as unaccompanied minors. Gives a very human face to what these kids face that makes them leave their families, & their families pay often untrustworthy coyotes to take them on a hazardous journey. At times I was frustrated with the choices the boys were making but they were only teenagers & with no parental guidance! But reading this in today’s political situation was rather [...]

    14. This was is a perfectly-timed, highly topical book which I wish everyone in DC (or the entire US, for that matter) would read. I liked how Markham presents well-researched facts and figures within an interesting and engaging narrative; I really liked how this narrative is (she stresses) of an average emigration/immigration story (and its effects rippling through the family on both sides of the border). Markham does an excellent job giving a brief overview of the US' involvement in El Salvador's [...]

    15. This is a lovely read. It tells an important story in an intimate, comprehensive way. The experience of each migrant is unique, and respecting that uniqueness is at the heart of this narrative. The day-to-day challenges faced by migrants are often overlooked (or cavalierly disregarded) in favor of the "bigger picture," or some statistical (or moral) point. Not here. Lauren Markham has done us all a huge service by preserving the full humanity of her subjects.

    16. Read this review on my blog.If you want the most realistic look possible at the life of an immigrant without actually knowing one, this is the book you need to read.  It's so thoroughly researched and well-written, it reads like a novel. But all of it is true, and all of it is fascinating.Markham follows Ernesto and Raul Flores from childhood to the present.  Through in-depth interviews with them and their family members, she learns their story and tells it exactly as it happened.  In between [...]

    17. The Far Away Brothers is one book which I recommend. It is history, political science and social studies all rolled into one. Auren Markham did a fine job of unraveling the complexities of US policies which did not make any sense to me like DACA. I've written a few blog pieces on GrumpaJoesplace about how befuddled I was about the thousands of kids migrating to the USA from Central America. How could little kids do that by themselves? That is one of the questions she answered for me. Another que [...]

    18. Author: Lauren MarkhamPrice: $15.95 Hardcover Genre: Nonfiction, Ethnics&National, Polical&Social Sciences, PoliticsPublisher: CrownPublishing Date: September 12, 2017Pages: 322The Description according to amazon, ” The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador’s violence to build new lives in California—fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong.Growing up in rural El Salvador in the wake of the civil war, Ernesto Flores had always had a fascination [...]

    19. Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Check out all my book reviews at myliterary2centsMy star rating system:1 star – Awful! I couldn’t even read it.2 stars – I only read part of it, couldn’t finish it.3 stars – I read it all, and it was okay – not one of my favorites.4 stars – I read it all and loved it!5 stars – I read it all, loved it, and I would read it again!I would actually give this book a 3.5. I did really enjoy it. I [...]

    20. Full & Detailed review: cynthology/2017/The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life by Lauren Markham attempts to humanize the stories of undocumented minors against the political backdrop of US President Donald Trump announcing a war on undocumented migrants. The author does this by highlighting the efforts of teenage twins, Ernesto and Raul Flores of El Salvador, to enter the US. The title comes from the phrase, hermano lejano, faraway brother in Spanish. H [...]

    21. In a post-2016 election America, The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham is necessary, gripping, and informative. Through the story of the "Flores" twins, Markham's brilliant journalistic writing unravels the complexity of life in Central America, El Salvador specifically, and the circumstances that caused Ernesto and Raul to follow their older brother North to the U.S leaving their parents, large family, and country behind. She weaves facts and figures into the story of these twins, highlightin [...]

    22. I write this brief review from my perspective of someone who thought he knew El Salvador, having lived and worked there off and on for 25 years, most notably having lived in San Salvador as a senior faculty Fulbright professor and researcher for most of 2000. My last visit to El Salvador was 2010 when I was invited to give a key-note address at a university graduation. At that time, the gangs (maras) were beginning to gain strength and notoriety. As an indication of the gangs growing power, I wa [...]

    23. Lauren Markham spent time as a journalist and has worked, for at least a decade, with organizations serving refugees. Her credentials shine through the story of THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS. (Her book contains 14 pages of extensive notes, detailing sources for all of the factual statements she makes throughout each chapter.)She's a gifted storyteller and from the opening moments of introducing readers to the Flores twins she keeps you engaged.The Flores brothers are refugees from El Salvador. Markham t [...]

    24. Ernesto and Raul Flores fled the gang violence in El Salvador for a better life in Oakland, California with their brother, Wilber, who had been living in the United States illegally for several years. This is both a very personal story of teenage twins and the bigger story of unaccompanied minors entering illegally from the southern border. Ernesto and Raul made a dangerous journey to cross the border, and once in the United States their life became mired in other unforeseen difficulties. The au [...]

    25. Detailing the story of twins plus an older brother that risk their health and the economic life of their family back in El Salvador, this book is an "everyman" view of what it takes to be an illegal immigrant and how they become lost as their efforts to embrace the American Dream gets sidelined. Living in countries where gangs kill members when a family doesn't pay the gang when requested threatens the family's ability to survive. The result is a whole family that descends into extreme economic, [...]

    26. This book touched me deeply on many levels: As an Anglo who is a fluent Spanish speaker and whose area of interest is Latin America, as someone who has worked with Central American refugees and who lives in San Francisco's Mission District, a barrio that is heavily populated by Central Americans and not far from the Flores Brothers home in Oakland, and as someone who has both friends and family members who are Latin American refugees and immigrants. This book is a deeply moving account of the Fl [...]

    27. I read this book with an open-heart and open-mind. Living in California, I have heard so many stories like the Flores Twins. Lauren Markham has done a wonderful job writing of the hard, terrorizing journey of kids who leave their countries to avoid danger, hardship and potential death and come to a country that doesn’t quit know what to do with them. As a daughter of an immigrant from Germany after World War Two, I know the harsh reality of a teenager trying to fit in, even though doing so leg [...]

    28. I predict that the most prominent word in the reviews of this book is going to be timely. This is a story that's hard to read, but eye-opening. The Flores brothers aren't the sort of immigrants that are held up as shining examples in media coverage. They're just kinda middle-of-the-road kids. They're not great students, and they're confused by the court processes. They work hard but make some bad decisions (one particularly disastrous romance-related one). They're not in the National Guard or sa [...]

    29. The first part of this book is more gripping to read then the latter part. Separately, twin brothers wend their way north from El Salvador to the U.S. with the help of a female coyote (coyota). Fee: $7,000 each. Family hocks farm to aid them (20 percent black-market mortgage rate). Author's in-depth reporting is impressive. She travelled to El Salvador, immersed herself in gathering information about the country's epidemic of gang violence and homicides. Many Salvadorans dream to leave for "The [...]

    30. This book tells the story of 2 teen twin boys, Ernesto & Raul Flores, from El Salvador and their journey migrating to the United States. The author is a journalist who came into the boys life once they were enrolled in an Oakland, CA school for new immigrants where she worked as an administrator. This read shows the struggles facing Central American Latinos and their harrowing journey when they leave their country. I struggled a bit with the flow of the book since at times it seems to be tol [...]

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