Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Reading Challenge Book 21: Pierced by the Sun


I finished this one with a quickness! If I can get a few more in like this then I can get back on track. My calendar tells me I am in week 26. I'm only five books behind, that's not SO bad, right? Anyway, enough stalling. More info after the bump.

Pierced by the Sun
Laura Esquivel

This is my second free book that I got via Amazon's Kindle First program. It seemed interesting, and it was something that would broaden my reading horizons, so I downloaded it. I just finished it tonight, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This book's protagonist is Lupita, a very real woman with serious problems. Though she works in law enforcement, she is in a corrupt part of Mexico. Lupita has a troubled and violent past, and she has vices that cause her to fail time and again. Still, I couldn't help but root for her as the story progressed. This is a story of healing, a journey of finding oneself. I found myself struggling alongside Lupita and asking myself some deep questions as the book moved on.

This book was written by a Mexican woman. Though many elements are familiar, it has its own flavor that sets it apart from American or European literature. It references Spanish and Mexican history, Aztec and Mayan folklore, and other things exotic to me as a white male who grew up in New Jersey and consumed fantasy that was firmly grounded in European tropes and trappings. I think this "otherness" of the book made it more enjoyable. 

Esquivel's protagonist, Lupita, was someone I felt drawn to. Like I wrote above, she is a flawed hero who "falls off the wagon" a few times during the story, yet is still likable and relatable enough that I never once found myself wanting to throw my hands up and walk away, giving up hope on her. I wanted Lupita to make better choices, to learn from her mistakes, to heal and become the Lupita she desperately longed to be. If she could do it, there is hope for me, too.

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