professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

A GOOD LONG WAY

Alas, no cover to show you for the forthcoming book from Rene Saldana. Do not let that deter you from ordering it now from your local indie bookseller, though. A GOOD LONG WAY (Pinata Books/Arte Publico, October 2010) is a slim novel that is rich in many things.

It is rich in character: from Beto Sr. and Jr to Roelito to Jessy: the four main characters who tell this story set within the course of one fateful day. When Beto and his father get into a heated argument, tempers more than flare. Before ling,m the two are fighting. Roelito, the younger brother, attempts to pull the two apart and have them make peace. Instead, Beto Jr. heads off into the night. What happens that evening and following day is revealed from the four different and distinctive perspectives.

The novel is also rich in emotional strength. We see not just the surface emotions: anger, pity, fear, etc. Instead, Saldana pulls readers in deeper and shows them the inner monologues of the main characters as they wrestle with these emotions.

It is also rich in the possible reading ladders we can create. Here are just a few different directions...

POINT OF VIEW: Jumping off Swings, for instance, would tie nicely
SIBLING RIVALRY: Across Five Aprils came to mind immediately though there are many others
FATHER/SON CONFLICT: IRONMAN, SPLIT, LAST NIGHT I SANG TO THE MONSTER could all be part of a ladder but so could other Saldana stories/novels
VALLEY SETTING: Saldana, David Rice, Viola Canales are all fits for this ladder.

Update on house reconstruction: the cabinets are painted and "curing" (nothing goes on them for a week), the front porch now has a cover and we have a room ready to be screened in next week. The resident has a newly painted bathroom in a lovely shade of green (almost mint) and new mirror, light fixture and shower curtain. Next week the painters return to do the bedrooms and the addition to the front porch. It is almost complete. And just in time to enjoy outdoors once again as the temps recede to double digits.


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