The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros | Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow.

Cheers to another FLASHBACK review and the weekend, you guys! This week I revisited Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street. The story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina growing up in Chicago, is told through a beautiful collection of vignettes. Cisneros describes the life of Esperanza in poetic prose as she transitions from young child into a young adult and I was really moved by the power behind her words.

Cisneros describes the importance a place can have on a person. Esperanza longs to be a writer, move away from Mango Street; however, no matter how far life takes her, Mango Street will always be a part of her. This is something I relate to whole-heartedly — I moved to Tallahassee for college and the life I led there was significantly different from the one I led in Miami. Not once did my Miami roots leave me, if anything I embraced them even more. As much as I’d like to live elsewhere now (I’m tired of this shit), Miami is are a part of me and it always will be, just as much as Mango Street is a part of Esperanza. Physically departing from Mango Street does not mean that Esperanza will leave it in the past — all of her experiences and all the people she’s met along the way have shaped her into who she is today and will influence her in the future.

They will not know that I have gone away to come back. For the ones I’ve left behind. For the ones who cannot out.

The multitude of characters present in The House on Mango Street is *chef’s kiss*. Just as fast as we meet them, they’re gone. The way Cisneros wrote this, giving small snippets into their lives is really cool. Esperanza has a unique way of describing the people she encounters in her life, and the way she gives them a voice, is wonderful. Each vignette is different, some of them are sad, others are happy and full of hope, but they all have something important to offer.

I read and analyzed some passages from this my freshman year of high school, and now that I have read it again after college the pages seem to hold a bigger meaning, they hit closer to home. Makes me so proud to read about the Latinx experience! A must-read!

Title: The House on Mango Street  

Author: Sandra Cisneros 

Genre: Fiction | Young Adult | Latinx

Publisher: Vintage

Publication Date: 1984

Format: Paperback

Pages: 110

Date Read: Nov 25, 2019

Rating: ★★★★☆

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