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Other titles in the Camino del Sol: A Latina and Latino Literary series:
The Book of Wantby Daniel A. Olivas
Synopses & Reviews
When Moses descended Mount Sinai carrying the Ten Commandments, he never could have foreseen how one family in Los Angeles in the early twenty-first century would struggle to live by them.
Conchita, a voluptuous, headstrong single woman of a certain age, sees nothing wrong with enjoying the company of handsome — and usually much younger — men . . . that is, until she encounters a widower with unusual gifts and begins to think about what she really wants out of life.
Julieta, Conchita's younger sister, walks a more traditional path, but she and her husband each harbor secrets that could change their marriage and their lives forever. Their twin sons, both in college, struggle to find fulfillment. Mateo refuses to let anyone stand in the way of his happiness, while Rolando grapples with his sexuality and the family's expectations. And from time to time, Belen, the family's late matriarch, pays a visit to advise, scold, or cajole her hapless descendants.
A delightful family tapestry woven with the threads of all those whose lives are touched by Conchita, The Book of Want is an enchanting blend of social and magical realism that tells a charming story about what it means to be fully human.
"The lives of a Mexican-American family living in Los Angeles unfold in surprising, sometimes delightful ways in Olivas's debut novel (after story collection Anywhere but L.A.). Olivas's approach to the novel resembles his approach to the collection; he resists following characters with regularity or predictability. Conchita, a voluptuous woman in her early 60s with a strong sex drive, glimpses her newly widowed neighbor levitating and falls in love with him; her younger sister, Julieta, is determined to lose the weight she gained over the years caring for her twin boys, now grown and in college; and Manny, Julieta's adoring husband, who runs a camera store with her, has contacted a high school girlfriend only to learn that she has a daughter by him who is incarcerated and eager to meet him. Olivas also follows the sisters' mother, BelÃ©n, as a young girl in Mexico, whose supernatural divining gift ties her to a tragic revenge killing. Though Olivas's strands work their discreet charm, many readers will be left wanting more. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
Daniel A. Olivas is the author of five books, including Anywhere But L.A. and Devil Talk. He is also the editor of Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, which collects sixty years of Los Angeles fiction from Latino/a writers. Olivas received a BA in English literature from Stanford University and a JD from the University of California at Los Angeles. Since 1990 he has practiced law with the California Department of Justice Public Rights Division.
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