Back in their sleepy hometown of Oaxaca, the couple enjoys a semblance of normal life, with a toddler son and another baby on the way. Then they receive an unexpected tip that might lead them to Alejandra, and both agree they must seize this chance, whatever the cost. Working increasingly illegal jobs to earn money for his journey north, Hector seeks more information about his long-absent daughter. Meanwhile, a bedridden Lilia awaits the birth of their third child, but cannot keep herself from reliving the worst mistakes of her past. In luminous, compassionate prose, Michel Stone drops readers into the whirlwind of the contemporary immigrant experience, where a marriage is strained to the breaking point by the consequences of wanting more for the next generation.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-02-20
- Reviewer: Staff
Life in the tiny Mexican village of Puerto Isadore has always been difficult, but ever since Hector and Lilia returned from crossing the border into the U.S., their hardships have increased. After the disappearance of their baby, Alejandra, whom Lilia was separated from while traveling north three years earlier, the town itselfas well as their own futureslooks bleak. When Hector happens upon Emanuel, the only person who can connect them to the human smuggler they used for their crossing, they begin to hopeeither for a happy reunion with their daughter or the closure they need. Hector travels to Acapulco to hopefully find the coyote who can explain what happened to Alejandra. Lilia, who is now expecting their third child, stays in Puerto Isadore with their two-year-old son. As Hector, desperate to earn the money to search for Alejandra, works dangerous jobs for questionable characters, Lilia struggles not only with her guilt but also with a difficult pregnancy. Chapters of alternating narratives allow Lilia and Hectors voices to come through. Although their story depends too heavily on stereotypes of people and circumstances from both sides of the border, it is a poignant portrayal of the struggles and choices faced by those in difficult conditions. (Apr.)