Book Review: Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes

July 4, 2023

About:

Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes is a novel telling of Mexican immigrants living as second-class citizens in California. Ms. Viramontes is a short-story writer, and this is her first published novel.

  • 192 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Plume
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0452273870

Book Review: Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes
My rating for Under the Feet of Jesus4
Buy Under the Feet of Jesus from Amazon.com*
More books by Helena Maria Viramontes*

Thoughts:

Even though this was a short book, it wasn’t a fast read. The story revolves around immigrants working in the fields. Welcomed laborers, unwelcomed guests.

The writing is very good, there are many descriptions which, frankly, seem to be filler to the story. I, however, worked in agriculture for a bit so I’m familiar with what the author tried to write about. Frankly, she did an excellent job describing the fields and work in the industry.

Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes touches many themes including Chicano culture, consumerism, working conditions of the sub-culture, injustice, and more.

While I read much praise for the vivid descriptions, I felt that the book is most poignant when the characters are interacting. The sense of desperation they feel everyday is something that’s felt on almost every page.

The story is very insightful and sad, it’s not going to change any minds though. It took me awhile to realize that this is actually two stories, which caused some confusion when I first started the book.

This is a slow book, not much is happening especially at the beginning. When tragedy strikes, the narrative also slows down as it is very difficult, intimidating, and scary for the family to get, or even ask for, help. Whether they get that help or not is a whole entire story altogether.

If you’re in a book club, this is a perfect book for it. It’s short, with many themes, and an overabundance of opportunities for discussions which went if in tangents even in my own head.

Synopsis:

Estrella is a young lady, about to become a woman. Her mother had a very difficult life and both of them barely make a living as farm laborers in California.

Being pushed into the margins of society, Estrella and her first love, Alejo, try to fight back. Both of them must navigate the meek existence, as well as being invisible persons to the system that welcomes them as low-wage workers.

Buy Under the Feet of Jesus from Amazon.com*
More books by Helena Maria Viramontes*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I bought this book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes
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Wrap Up

Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes

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