My Name Is Iris by Brando Skyhorse is about a woman, Iris Prince, who is starting over after a divorce. Iris feels that she needs a change. She feels that she and her husband, Alex, want different things in life. She decides that a divorce will help her find her path again. She and her nine year old daughter, Melanie, move to a new town to start over.
Iris feels that she will have more time to pursue her passions and things she wants to do. She even feels that she will be able to connect and bond with her new neighbors. After spending a few days in her new place, she wakes up one morning and looks out her kitchen window. She noticed a wall appeared in her front yard overnight. The wall wasn’t there last night and it seems to be growing and looks more menacing as time goes by.
A new law was proposed and passed that requires everyone to wear “the Band”. It is supposedly a convenient way to help people pay bills, get access to utilities, and serves as an ID. The catch is, only people who can prove that their parents are US citizens can have access to the band.
Iris was proud to be a second generation Mexican American woman. Growing up her parents has always told her that no one can take away her citizenship because Iris was born in the US. However, that all changes when Iris is no longer able to qualify for “the Band” since her parents are undocumented. How far will Iris go to protect what matters to her the most while everything around seems to be closing in on her?
The novel started off okay but then I lost interest towards the middle. The book was boring and didn’t really have much going on. I also didn’t like that some of the characters spoke in Spanish and there was no translation to help readers understand what was going on. After a while, it became too cumbersome to look up every other sentence to figure out what the characters were saying. The ending was especially disappointing as it was mostly in Spanish also. Therefore, I had no idea how it ended and from what I was able to understand it didn’t really seem like it gave the readers any closure.
The book is from people of Mexican descent’s point of view in dealing with the changes due to the “bands”. I would have been interested in reading to see how other minorities dealt with these changes as well. I didn’t find any of the characters interesting or relatable. While they were trying to do the best they could do with the new mandates, I found some of the characters selfish and not loyal to their family members and culture. The book has tons of symbolism and cultural references that were interesting but, it wasn’t enough to make the story more captivating. The book might be enjoyable if you understand Spanish to better grasp these parts of the story containing Spanish phrases. Otherwise I would say just skip it.