The Iguana Tree

The Iguana Tree

by Michel Stone

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Overview

Set amid the perils of illegal border crossings, The Iguana Tree is the suspenseful saga of Lilia and Hector, who separately make their way from Mexico into the United States, seeking work in the Carolinas and a home for their infant daughter.

Michel Stone's harrowing novel meticulously examines the obstacles each faces in pursuing a new life: manipulation, rape, and murder in the perilous commerce of border crossings; betrayal by family and friends; exploitation by corrupt officials and rapacious landowners on the U.S. side; and, finally, the inexorable workings of the U.S. justice system.

Hector and Lilia meet Americans willing to help them with legal assistance and offers of responsible employment, but their illegal entry seems certain to prove their undoing. The consequences of their decisions are devastating. In the end, The Iguana Tree is a universal story of loss, grief, and human dignity.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013991781
Publisher: Hub City Press
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 220
File size: 748 KB

About the Author

Michel Stone has published more than a dozen stories and essays in journals, magazines, and books. Her work has appeared numerous times in the Raleigh News & Observer's Emerging Southern Writers series. She is a 2011 recipient of the South Carolina Fiction Project Award. Raised on the South Carolina coast, Stone now lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Customer Reviews

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The Iguana Tree 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michel Stone has an amazing debut novel. Her character development is so complete and solid, I feel in love with the main characters. Great read and a page turner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this riveting page-turner. The author uses the backdrop of Mexican illegal immigration into the US to tell a gripping tale of a young family hoping for a better life. But -- the book is not political at all. Few authors could pull that off. It's just a great story that will linger with you long after you read the last page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book - great writing, engaging story and I actually learned some things.
Reader-girl40 More than 1 year ago
Wow! I could not put this book down! No matter how you feel about U.S. Immigration laws, the story will literally sweep you away. It is both sad and full of hope. I can't wait to read more from Michel Stone!
Beamis12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is no doubt that the immigrants coming from Mexico have a very hard time of it. So many people, from the coyotes to regular people take advantage of them and terrible things happen to them. This book is the story who come over from Mexico, the husband first and later the wife. Can't say I much cared for the husband, Hector, he seemed like the typical macho dreamer until the very end. I did like his wife and felt very bad for her and the things that happened to her. Don't know how I actually feel about the illegals that our in our country, actually feel sorry for all sides. This book definitely gives one room for thought.
SamSattler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to begin by stating that I hold firm opinions pertaining to the impact that the millions of people who have entered the United States illegally are having - particularly as to how my hometown, Houston, is affected by the thousands of them who now call this city home. For that reason, I do not come into a book like Michel Stone¿s The Iguana Tree with an entirely open mind. I admit that. I do, however, try to see both sides of the issue, so Stone¿s novel is not my first exposure to sympathetic fiction on the subject (most novels about illegal immigration are, in fact, written from the point-of-view of the illegal aliens). I will tell you, too, that The Iguana Tree is probably the best of the novels I have read on the subject.As the novel begins, Hector lives in a tiny Mexican village called Puerto Isadore with his wife and new baby daughter, but he knows he can do better for them. Precisely because he loves his family so much, Hector is eager to risk his life and to pay his life savings to the coyote who promises to get him safely into the United States where he can prepare a new home for Lilia and tiny Alejandro. Hector, after surviving a trip across the border that would have driven a claustrophobic insane, decides to travel with his new friend Miguel to Edisto Island, South Carolina, where a promise of work awaits them. Hector has the immediate good fortune to be hired on by Lucas and Elizabeth, operators of a family tree farm they can no longer handle on their own because of a crippling injury Lucas has recently suffered. Eager to learn English and to please his new boss, Hector impresses the pair with the competency of his hard work and an almost familial bond forms between him and the American couple. Things go well until Lilia decides she does not want to wait for Hector to save the money needed to get her and Alejandra across the border to join him. She wants to come now.Lilia believes that, by finding a way to join him sooner than they thought possible, she is proving how much she loves her husband. She knows that Hector does not want her to make her own arrangements, but she is certain that when he sees her and Alejandra he will agree that she has done the right thing. Hector, however, believes that Lilia¿s decision indicates only that she does not respect or trust him enough to believe that he can get them there. When Lilia¿s harrowing entry into the U.S. turns violent, it has tragic consequences that she never considered possible ¿ consequences that will almost destroy her, Hector, and their marriage. The Iguana Tree tells a story that is guaranteed to touch the heart of even the staunchest opponent of illegal immigration. It compels the reader to see the illegals as people rather than mere statistics and helps to explain why so many are willing to gamble everything to get out of Mexico and Central America and into the United States. I particularly applaud the realistic ending that Stone chose for The Iguana Tree because a softer approach would have greatly lessened the impact of the story she tells so well.Rated at: 4.0
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, easy read. Sad and abrupt ending, but still a book I would recommend. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book i love how it just hooks you in in the beginning and you can never put it down
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
The Iguana Tree is written with compassion, yet provides only a brief glimpse into the lives of undocumented workers. Hector, Lilia and their newborn daughter live in Puerto Isadore and dream of a life in America. As the novel opens, Hector has paid someone to take him across the border. The plan, once there, is to find a job, save money and send for Lilia and the baby as soon as possible. Lilia, impatient to be with her husband, finds passage herself and what follows is their story. This novel had promise. It opened beautifully and I found myself taken with Lilia and Hector and the small town they live in. As Hector makes his way across the border, I considered many times, how desperate a person had to be, to risk everything for the American dream. But what happens seems almost too good to be true and then right when you begin to question just how good things are, they are hit with tragedy which was all-together too convenient for me. As I was reading, I got the sense that the author didn’t want to upset anyone, including herself. That she wanted these characters to come out on top, but then knew or perhaps felt that it couldn’t possibly turn out well and then at the end, (which I will not spoil for anyone) she goes back into the other direction again. Kind of. If I had spent more time with these characters in their hometown, I would have understood their motivation more. If the author had focused on one aspect of their story, perhaps more time could have been spent on developing that one aspect instead of trying to touch on all the issues involved with undocumented workers. And last, but certainly not least…what is she trying to say? I don’t feel as if a statement was made. Does she support illegal immigration? Does she support undocumented workers? Is she saying that the process should be easier to enter the country legally? I’m not sure and I really searched for this in order to give this book a fair shake. I wanted and expected a lot more because there were pieces that did work well and there were times where I did feel something for these characters, but in the end, no stance was made and that choice affected the entire story. Would I read another book by this author? Yes, because what I liked, I liked quite a bit, but I wanted more. I do think this would make a good discussion book for a book club though. There is a lot to explore.