I heard Luis Alberto Urrea talk on the radio about the seeds of this book. He spoke about recent losses with humor, affection, and sincere appreciation for the messiness of life. This new novel centers around a final birthday party for Miguel Angel de La Cruz, a character loosely based on Urrea's big brother, complicated by their mother's death two weeks before. This is a perfect setting for flashbacks that fill in the story, and an unexpected writer adds depth to the tale. Give it a try.