The Distance Between Us By Reyna Grande and Her Biography

Categories: Plot

Reyna’s childhood was shaped by race and ethnicity, because of where she stayed and how she was treated before arriving in America, and how she was treated when she arrived in America. In Mexico, Reyna was abandoned by both of her parents. She was forced into a mentally abusing home with her grandmother since her parents left. Reyna’s only caring “adult”, since she was older, was her 11 year old sister, Mago. When she arrived in Los Angeles, Reyna thought she was getting the chance to be with her loving father she always dreamed of.

She left a mental abusing home to enter into a psychically abusing home with her father. Not only was her father abusive when something does go his way, her peers and teachers would look at her funny because she didn’t know the native language, which is English.

In Reyna Grande’s memoir, The Distance Between Us, she gives us some insight on how her childhood was.

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She was raised in a poverty-stricken, poor, Mexican village. Her father left when she was two years old, to go to America. Shortly after her father left, her mother left too, but her plan was to go find Reyna’s father and bring him back. Unfortunately she didn’t return back to Mexico and left her children behind. As she got a little older, the memory of her parents started to fade away. Reyna’s father was the main person she didn’t remember. She had a framed picture of him to remind herself what he looks like, she called him “The Man Behind the Glass.

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After both of Reyna’s parents left, Reyna and all her siblings had to live with another relative. She lived with her grandmother, which is her father’s mother, in a poor Mexican village of Iguala. Her house was made of cardboard, just imagine how rainy days looked and felt for them, if it was wet and muddy outside then it’ll be just like inside of the house. Not only was it wet and muddy inside, but there were also scorpions crawling around. Reyna’s grandmother was cruel, she would soak Reyna’s hair in kerosene to get rid of lice. Reyna’s older sister, Mago would come up with games to distract all of them from how bad everything was.

Later on in the book, Reyna’s father returns for all his children and gets them across the border, but illegally. They live in Los Angeles, you know, the city where dreams can happen, or so Reyna believed. She started realizing everything is difficult, from the cars, to her teachers, to even her father. Her father wasn’t who she thought he would be. He was an alcoholic and abusive to all the children when something didn't go how he wanted it to. He would threaten them with “I’m sending you straight back to my mother’s house.” to try to get them back in line.

Reyna’s father pushed his children to succeed by any means necessary. Because he pushed so much, they started “escaping” from him one by one. Reyna’s escape happened when she went to college. She met a few Latin American authors through her professor and notices how similar all of their stories are. Listening to them inspired her to become a writer and become the person she is now.

Updated: Feb 26, 2024
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The Distance Between Us By Reyna Grande and Her Biography. (2024, Feb 26). Retrieved from

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