The Five Acts of Diego Leon by Alex Espinoza
For readers of The Chaperone and The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, a thrilling, unforgettable novel about an unusually gifted young man who leaves Mexico for Hollywood in the late 1920s, determined to pursue his dreams-no matter the cost.
July 1917, Mexico: Orphaned by a fever that took his mother's life and a civil war that left his father a broken man, 11-year-old Diego Leon is sent to the provincial capital to live with his aristocratic grandparents. There, they try to forge a new identity for young Diego, rewriting his past and grooming him to take over the family business. The only relief from this suffocating life are his warm, kind music teacher and her son, from whom Diego is inseparable. But when his grandparents force an engagement with a woman he doesn't love, Diego finally snaps, leaving his fractious country behind. He heads for Hollywood, where silent films are just transitioning into "talkies," and Prohibition is in full swing. But thousands of miles from home, in a land full of people out for themselves, will Diego ultimately find the love and acceptance he seeks? In this moving novel about ambition, love and identity, Diego Leon discovers that living your dreams can come at a cost.