Thanks to AmazonCrossing and Netgalley for the Advance Review Copy.
Wow. What an absolute gem of a novel. The cover and synopsis grabbed my attention immediately and I knew once I had finished the first few chapters that I was reading something truly special.
The novel follows the saga of the Morales family in Northern Mexico and those linked to their story. The book starts with a mystery, an abandoned baby boy with some unusual friends. It follows his relationship with the Morales family and others in the small community in which they live. The novel is written from various different points of view, some first person and some third person so readers get to really understand the different perspectives and motivations of the characters.
The writing is beautiful and evocative with clever and witty turns of phrase. The characters are dynamic and relatable, and I genuinely cared about what happened to them. There is an element of the supernatural running throughout the book, but it never felt cheesy or contrived. The novel also follows historical events such as the Spanish Flu and political upheavals in Mexico during the early 20th century.
At its heart the novel is about family and in particular the relationship between brothers, even if not blood related. There is a genuine feeling of malevolence and tension in the portrayal of the antagonist which continues through to the heart stopping climax. The novel also touches on themes of prejudice, the need for adaptation and change and the real-life history of the area is also incorporated into the narrative.
This is a wonderful and vibrant novel, an absolute gem. I laughed, I cried and there were times I felt like I was there. The cover is also gorgeous and eye-catching. I’d heartily recommend picking this one up upon its release.