Title: The Cost of Dreams
Author: Gary Stelzer
Publisher: Decent Hearts Press
About the book: Flora, a Mayan teenager, has escaped Talapa, her civil war-torn Central American village where her parents have been slain-and where even being seen in native wear could result in summary execution. Following her dream with nearly superhuman determination, she makes her way to San Diego, and against all odds, becomes a wife, mother and teacher. By hard work and shrewdness, she even obtains legal U.S. status.
But her life takes a horrific turn when she's shot by her drug-dealing brother in-law. As she lays unconscious and bleeding in front of her house, Mexican immigrants traveling on a freight train kidnap and claim her as their daughter, caring for her on a long, grueling cross-country flight.
Nearly a year later, still gravely wounded and disfigured, a freed Flora arrives at the Lake Michigan home of Kate Bowman, an American aide worker who had previously befriended Flora in Talapa. Kate's nephew had vanished on that mission, leaving Kate devastated and overwhelmed with guilt for permitting him to remain in a civil war ravaged Central America while she returned home.
Now Flora, eager to heal her injuries and desperate to restore what remains of her family, reignites in Kate a fire to learn the fate of her long lost nephew. The two women embark on a harrowing journey that takes them to the ancient caves of northwestern Mexico in the Barrancas del Cobre, an exceedingly vast abyss of canyons, in search of a storied Indian healer. The cost of healing borders on the unendurable.
My thoughts: I really liked the summary of this book above, that was sent to me by Carol Fass Publicity. The book started out strong and I found it hard to put down. I was impressed by Flora's spirit and strength and how she pushed on even when she found herself alone. Even after she is wounded and the Mexican family - mainly the mother - "kidnaps" her because she thinks she is her reincarnated daughter - I was still pulling for Flora. What she survived in her trek across country is amazing.
About three quarters of the way through though, the book started to drag and seemed to be going off on a tangent. A couple of the lesser characters in the book came into play, and for me, this seemed to detract from Flora's story rather than add to it. I understand why they were necessary, but at times it seemed their little part was overshadowing the bigger picture. It does show how the book came full circle and how there are many different ways in which a person needs to be healed.
The Cost of Dreams
Publisher/Publication Date: Decent Hearts Press, Oct 2009
~This book was provided for review by Carol Fass Publicity and Public Relations.~