Thursday, August 5, 2010

Red Glass

Laura Resau
Delacorte Press, 2009, 275 pp., $8.99
ISBN: 978-0-440-24025-9

Sophie, her mother, and her stepfather, a Mexican immigrant, are summoned by the border patrol to a Tucson hospital late one evening where they are introduced to Pablo, a five-year-old boy whose parents died of dehydration while attempting to cross the border. One year later, after Pablo unexpectedly reveals that he has extended family in Mexico, Sophie accompanies her aunt, her aunt's boyfriend, and his teenage son on a journey to reunite the boy with his family, and allow him to decide where he will live.

Laura Resau, who studied cultural anthropology in college, has crafted an incredibly rich portrait of life in Mexico. She tackles complex issues, all the while treating her subject matter with considerable care. In addition to examining issues that surround the current debate over immigration, Red Glass explores the challenges that confront victims of trauma, and celebrates the resiliency of the human spirit. Although the inclusion of a romantic thread occasionally blunts the novel's force, its sophisticated treatment of sensitive (and timely) issues makes it a worthwhile read.

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