Synopses & Reviews
Peter and Wendytheir mother chose the namesfelt as close as twins, despite their difference in age. As teens, they fled their wealthy Philadelphia home in the family station wagon and headed for Mexico, only to be discovered sleeping in the car on the banks of the Mississippi, in Huck Finn country. Now, many years later, estranged by an apparent betrayal as profound as their family's dysfunction, the two live separate lives, Peter as an editor in New York, Wendy as an edgy sports photographer with a taste for risk. With a new book out and an invitation to Los Cabos, she drives the Mercedes inherited from their father to Baja California, finally completing the trip begun twenty years earlier.
But when the engine fails near a small town named ParaísoParadiseshe lingers, exploring its underside in an affair with a dangerous man and, all too suddenly, becoming witness to a vicious crime. Meanwhile, in New York, Peter can't help but think of Wendy. When, from his apartment in lower Manhattan, he watches the Twin Towers fall on a beautiful September day, he knows it's time to leave his comfortable life, go find Wendy, and make peace with his long-lost sister. A noirish tale reminiscent of David Lynch and the Coen brothers, Paraíso traces the journey from a mother's dark secret to a place where love, and even perfect love, is possible.
Siblings Peter and Wendy haven't spoken in years. Once they were very close even attempting to run away to Mexico together. However as adolescence changes them Wendy blames Peter for betraying a secret and when their mother dies the truth about the past vanishes with her. As adults the two siblings live very different lives. Peter is a straitlaced book editor in New York and Wendy is a reckless sports photographer who encounters trouble after her car breaks down in Paraiso Mexico. When Peter heads south of the border to reconcile with his sister and save her from her vindictive ex boyfriend he doesn't realize he is completing the journey they started as teenagers. Chaplin (Full Fathom Five) sets the stage for a rowdy adventure story but the siblings' alternating points of view make it difficult to connect with either character. Wendy's story is told in the third person while Peter's is in first and the transition between the two feels abrupt. Nevertheless readers may still enjoy the story for its fast paced plot. (July) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
About the Author
is the author of the novel Joyride
and several works of nonfiction, including Dark Wind: A Survivors Tale of Love and Loss
and Full Fathom Five: Ocean Warming and a Fathers Legacy
. A former journalist for Newsweek
, the Baltimore Sun
, and the Washington Post
, he has worked on sea conservation with the group Niparaja and since 2003 has been a research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City and Hebron, New York.