For readers in search of a tautly streamlined, deeply resonating, contemporary family story, Big Familia by Tomas Moniz won't disappoint ... Without ignoring societal ills--racially charged police violence, incarceration bias, aggressive gentrification, generation gaps—Moniz creates a broadly diverse cast on the verge of transformation. Testing options, pushing past comfort zones and welcoming new bonds result in a big familia well worth getting to know ... engaging.
...a sharply observed exploration of empty nesting, gentrification, and intercultural intimacy ... Big Familia doesn't dish out big, steaming heaps of drama. Rather, it recounts the smaller moments where a few ill-chosen words can have far-reaching repercussions, such as filling out financial-aid applications with a former spouse or dealing with lacy underwear left on the bathroom floor.
This heartwarming novel tells the story of Juan Gutiérrez as he goes through a time of change ... These are serious issues, and the novel gives them their due, but it’s also light in tone ... Big Familia looks seriously at race, sexuality, class, and more, while never losing its warmth and charm.
A quiet, thoughtful story about coming-of-age at middle age ... With his first novel, poet Moniz tells a story that is simultaneously timeless and quite timely ... Juan is an engaging narrator, someone who is fully aware of his limitations and is trying to change—for himself and the people he cares for ... Diverse characters and a deeply likable protagonist make this a standout debut.