A coming of age novel about a boy overcoming divorce and cultural dislocation. When Father and Mother, a highflying young American lawyer and his party-hard bride, fall prey to the self-destructive lure of alcohol and sexual liberation, Will and his sisters pay the price in divorce and kidnappings that take them back and forth between the rain forest hideaways of coastal Latin America and the placid suburbs of Long Island. Will identifies with the oppressed workers laboring in his father's fast food restaurant and longs for American freedom. Father remarries the daughter of a local aristocrat, and Will is sent off to the hothouse world of a New England boarding school.
Swimming in a sea of Fair Isle sweaters and LL Bean boots, Will discovers a core of resilience in himself that allows him to survive, thrive, and ultimately embrace the flawed and varied worlds he inhabits. Will reconnects with Mother, sinking into a New York City world of Irish bars and one night stands he cannot save her from. With a little help from friends, and a high school Shakespeare class taught by the school's closeted gay athletic trainer, Will begins to see the possibility of finding his true path. Latitudes charts the birth pangs of a quest for self and soul - from a tropical childhood to a coming of age on the road.
|Publisher:||Hope Mountain Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was very difficult for me to get into. I struggled to connect with the characters and the story line, and I will say up front that this is probably not my kind of book. Much of the story did not grab my attention, but it's not the author's fault in any way. It is just my personal preference and not necessarily my cup of tea. I did enjoy the little historical and cultural references that the author interjected into the story. I had never considered the difficulties and even social stigma of divorce in the 1970's. I can't imagine being separated from your mother (because she was living in another country) and not seeing her again for many years. And then discovering that the situation may not have been what you thought it was. Thankfully there were no bedroom scenes in this, and the profanity was relatively mild. It was a quick read for sure, and I am happy to say that at least I somewhat connected with Will. I was glad that in spite of everything, he was generally at the top of the class and well-liked. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
This book is a masterpiece in terms of analyzing the psychological effects of a broken marriage into the mind of a young boy, how he deals with that and how he finds his way in life in his quest to feel belonging to a community, to a group, to a family. The author did a superb job creating a set of characters with complex personalities. The plot develops through Chapters alternating life in the USA and Venezuela. Our main character, Will, suffers with the initial separation of his parents and subsequently with the separation from one of his sisters in a half successful kidnapping (his father acting to steal his kids from the mother), followed by another kidnapping (mother stealing kids from the father) in an intense sop opera very well described by the author. All elements for an excellent book are presented here, including peer relation, showing how Will come to age in a magnificence description of development of survival skills and control of emotions. I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who loves a well written novel with a very up to date subject. This book was written by Anthony Caplan and it was published by Hope Mountain Press in May of 2012. I received a complimentary electronic version of this book for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.
Latitudes is a story about life - specifically, Will's life from youth until adulthood. Simply put, it's a bildungsroman. Apart from the prologue, which begins in California in 2009, the story is mostly in chronological order. 1966 is the actual starting point. Will is a child, probably no older than five. His sister Marina is the new baby, and his sister Jeanette is yet to be born, let alone conceived. The moment you start reading, it's easy to tell that there won't be a solid plot with steps leading up to a certain conclusion, though the plot does thicken when the intense divorce battles come into play. When I imagine the way this story is told, I think about a large family scrapbook broken up into years and places the family have lived since 1966. I imagine someone pointing at a picture in the section titled "Caracas, Venezuela - 1966" and asking what was currently happening with the family when that picture was taken. The explanation for that picture encompasses one chapter. Then, in the next chapter, the reader points to another picture and another until they've looked through the entire scrapbook. What happened in New York State, 1967? What about Margarita Island, 1968 or Long Island, 1970? Every question is answered until, by the end, we know enough separate but interconnected stories about Will and those around him to feel as though we've known Will our whole life. Though Latitudes is mainly focused on how Will copes with moving around often and dealing with his parent's dysfunctional, abusive marriage, there's also a subtle layer of story underneath about society and history. I liked Latitudes writing style, though I initially didn't like a couple of the metaphors and similes. All in all, I find it an enjoyable book, and I recommend it to anyone who loves tales about growing up and coping with divorce.
Latitude is a great plot line, well written, highly described, web of the ins and out of Will's life. I would recommend this to people whom read a lot. However I would not recommend it to people that just randomly pick up a book now and again. It isn't the easy to page through stories that some books are. This one includes having to use your mind. (Which I love when I have to engage myself with the story.) You have to keep straight who is who and which person did what and how this affects this and why this problem was caused by this action. Psychologist probably would LOVE this book and anyone else that loves getting into peoples brains and picking around. The tail isn't disappointing as you travel from United States to South America and back. As we get older and you watch as things progress or get worse. I won't tell you how it ends because that takes the fun out of reading this great story.