Review Melinda Palacio’s Ocotillo Dreams

Over at La Bloga there’s a review of Melinda Palacio’s new book Ocotillo Dreams by Michael Sedano

In Ocotillo Dreams, Melinda Palacio manages to perplex, amuse, engage her readers, and finally leave them wanting more. Not that Ocotillo Dreams is too short at 198 pages. The author jumps into the scene, lets characters emerge, builds her story, and gets out. I would have been happy for more. Still, the result comes as a superbly elegant coming-of-age fiction culminating with a woman’s deliciously private revenge on a clueless asshole of a man.

Palacio’s central character, a crusty professor, is blindsided by failed relationships; with a long-time lover, with her mother who dies as the novel opens.

Instantly, Isola’s uprooted in every way. Moving to Arizona to dispose of a home, she lays eyes on the hunky Cruz and, out of horniness and rebound desperation, romance (her), sex (him) blooms.

Isola’s an agonizer. She takes nothing in stride so her problems magnify themselves. Isola’s nearly witless discovering her mother’s activist involvement with coyotes and sanctuary gente. Isola needs to pack this stuff, another crisis, and has to fly back to Frisco for a rich helping of crisis! Irately, Isola starts a relationship with immigrants wanting to get their hands on her dead father’s ID. More worry and odd decisions.

With Isola’s trials magnified to the edge of tolerance, the limit comes when Isola realizes she’s in a ménage-à-trois with Cruz and her dead mother. She goes numb and absorbs blow after blow. Then she plans her revenge. Palacio’s climactic twist on seduction will shake up many a conventional moralist witnessing Isola’s choice of strategies to get a leg up on Cruz.

Read fill article @ La Bloga, July 12

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~ by eneryvibes on 1,July 21, 2011.

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