River Flows North

Overview

Exhilarating novel that takes readers on the dangerous journey so many migrants undertake in search of a better life. Explore the lives behind the news stories as migrants follow the highway known as la Ocho, an unforgiving & ruthless trail wrought with snakes, dehydration & exhaustion, & one that forever links their lives & deaths.

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Overview

Exhilarating novel that takes readers on the dangerous journey so many migrants undertake in search of a better life. Explore the lives behind the news stories as migrants follow the highway known as la Ocho, an unforgiving & ruthless trail wrought with snakes, dehydration & exhaustion, & one that forever links their lives & deaths.

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Editorial Reviews

Multicultural Review
The closing of easier routes through California has driven migrants to the United States from Mexico and Central America to make a dangerous crossing through the Arizona desert. One wrong turn can lead to dying of thirst; one false step can lead to a deadly snake or scorpion bite.

Limon, the author of several other novels set in Mexico or along the border, narrates the story of a group of travlers-almost all complete strangers-who cast their lot with the experienced smuggler Leonardo Cerda. Among them are Julio and his son, Manuelito, who only want to go halfway, and the elderly Lacandona woman Encarnacion Padilla, who seeks the spirits of those previously lost on the crossing. Menda Fuentes, a Salvaodran woman has survived both her country's civil war and an abusive husband. Nicanor and Borrego Osuna are teenage Mexican brothers seeking a better life in the United States. Finally, there is the well-dressed stranger, Armando Guerrero, of whom everyone is afraid.

Each of the characters tells his or her story, past and present. Each plays a critical role at some point in the journey, so the shifting points of view add to the suspense. This short, fast-paced novel is rooted in real experiences and will be of interest to readers, high-school and up.
Library Journal
In this latest work from Limón (emerita, Loyola Marymount Univ.; Song of the Hummingbird), a small, disparate group of would-be immigrants hires coyote Leonarda Cerda to guide them from a Sonora border town across the desert into Arizona. The result is a sort of Canterbury Tales without the humor and buoyancy: initially, each traveler is alone in his or her own private world, but gradually, as they all tell their life stories, they come together in sorrow, tragedy, and impending death. While it is clear to the reader (and to the travelers) that few if any will survive the border crossing, the reader is still caught up in the individual stories and entertains a small vestige of hope for some sort of future. VERDICT The stories here give faces to the news accounts we all read or watch daily from a distance. Thoughtful reading for anyone who wants socially engaged fiction.—Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558855854
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 177
  • Sales rank: 1,357,143
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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