Sunday, April 27, 2008

Names on a Map: A Novel by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I must have a thing for novels set in the 60's this year. First My Revolutions and now Names on a Map: A Novel. Names is the story of one week in 1967 that brings momentous change to the Espejo family. When a draft notice is delivered to the oldest son, Gustavo, he is forced to chose between disappointing his father and following his conscience. Mirroring the turmoil that infects El Paso and the nation, each family member's reaction to this event shapes the story of their lives. The alternating viewpoints give you a complete picture of each family member and the why the decision each makes has such an impact on the character and the family.

Novels written by poets almost always make me happy. I love stopping and looking out the window at the green, sunlit world (assuming it is out there) and thinking about a beautiful turn of phrase or a stunning description. Some days that is really all I need to have a worthwhile day.

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