July 22, 2013

REVIEW: THE FIVE ACTS OF DIEGO LEON by Alex Espinoza


Delightful, intriguing, passionate.  FIVE ACTS OF DIEGO LEON is beautifully written with wonderful narrative and a great hero.  Sweeping from the villages of Mexico to California’s gold coast, this is a story about love, ambition, betrayal, and loyalty.  It’s about fame and fortune and Hollywood.  It’s about going after your dreams; about growing up and finding yourself.  Readers will cheer for this hero on his quest to self-discovery and self-love.   

Book Summary:  Espinoza transports readers from war-torn Mexico to the glamour of Hollywood in 1927.  Our Hero, Diego, grows up a poor boy amid the P’urhépacha Indians.  His father sends him to his mother’s aristocratic family in the city so he can become someone better.  His grandparents invent a new identity and background for him and groom him to take over the family business.  Diego is torn between his past and his present.  The only thing that helps him escape the pressure of his family and the question of his sexuality is the cinema.  He is enthralled with the larger-than-life actors and longs to be like them.  When his grandparents find him a wife and a house, Diego leaves his bride at the altar and runs off to Hollywood.  He soon finds that chasing fame and fortune is hard work.  It takes him several years, but Diego learns that it’s who you know that will get you ahead.  He becomes lovers with a producer who gives him his big break.  A new Diego is born, complete with a new background.  But Hollywood’s new Latin Lover soon learns that fame can be very fickle and very lonely.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Alex Espinoza was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles.  His first book, STILL WATER SAINTS, was released simultaneously in English and Spanish, and was named a Barnes and Nobel Discover Great New Writers Selection. FIVE ACTS OF DIEGO LEON is his second novel.  Espinoza’s fiction has also appeared in several anthologies and journals, including Inlandia: A Literary Journey Through California’s Inland Empire, Latinos in Lotusland, Huizache, Silent Voices, and The Southern California Review.  Currently, Espinoza is an associate professor of English at CSU-Fresno, where he teaches literature and creative writing.  Visit him at www.alexespinoza.com.