Book Review: THE HOUSE of Order by John Paul Jaramillo

20120426-085550.jpgTitle: THE HOUSE of Order
Author: John Paul Jaramillo
Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press
Genre: Literary short-story collection
Page count: 105

THE HOUSE of Order is a portrait of a working-class Hispanic American family through the lens of an uncle troubled by alcoholism, depression, and addiction. The narrator, a young man named Manito, struggles to parse together his family history by listening to his uncle Neto’s stories about the past. But Neto is a reluctant storyteller, likely because his past holds a lot of pain.

The stories are well written and poignant. You can’t help routing for the children in the stories and half-loathing, half-fearing the adults, even as you understand how their coarseness comes from their own childhood experiences and pain. Overall, the depiction of this family is warm and loving, filled with sympathy and compassion. But it doesn’t flinch away from the ugly things people do to each other, especially to the people they love.

Manito is a dependable, forgiving narrator, even as his uncle who relates many of the stories is unreliable and broken. With both of them contributing to the narrative at the same time, the reader gets a more holistic view of the family’s story–the good, the bad, and the somewhere in between.

FYI, there are several references to acts of domestic violence in the stories. If you’re squeamish about that, this book is not for you. But it’s a very well written, authentic book with an appealing voice and a lot of heart.

Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of The House of Order? Well, there are two ways to enter…

  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official House of Order tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I’ve posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the official House of Order tour page–either way works just as well.

About the author: John Paul Jaramillo grew up in Southern Colorado but now lives, writes and teaches in Springfield, Illinois. He earned his MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Oregon State University and, currently, holds the position of Associate Professor of English in the Arts and Humanities Department of Lincoln Land Community College. Connect with John Paul on his website, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.

Get The House of Order on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About Mary Elizabeth Summer

Mary Elizabeth Summer is an instructional designer, a mom, a champion of the serial comma, and a pie junkie. Oh, and she sometimes writes books about teenage delinquents saving the day. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her daughter, her partner, her two neurotic dogs, and her precious prince--er, cat.
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7 Responses to Book Review: THE HOUSE of Order by John Paul Jaramillo

  1. Pingback: Inside the Writer’s Studio with John Jaramillo | |

  2. Pingback: Dark History wrapped in beauty & sadness - The House of Order | Cabin Goddess

  3. Pingback: Review: The House of Order: Stories | Alaskan Dreams

  4. Pingback: A Dark Family History Wrapped in Beauty and Sadness | Cabin Goddess

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