Monday, June 28, 2010

Terrific Read--Red Glass

I have just finished reading Red Glass, one of the books given to me by my friend who we met on our France trip.

We met up on our recent trip to Utah--she and her husband live in Colorado and had planned a vacation trip to Salt Lake City, so the timing was perfect. She is multi-talented but particularly of interest (and a touch of envy) for me is that she is a writer. She belongs to a writing group, and as a gift for me she brought along two books written by members of her writing group.

I was greatly in need of an enjoyable book to read, and selected first Red Glass, probably because it had a catchy cover.

Well, I have just finished the book, and it is a terrific read. It's been quite a while since I awarded a "terrific read" label to a book, but this one certainly merits it.

Curiously, the book is described on Amazon as being for younger readers--and it is very accessible, so I can understand that designation. But it appeals perfectly well to an older reader--such as me. The novel begins in Tucson with a blended family of a mother, originally from England, her husband who is step-father to her daughter. A distant great-aunt has come into their lives, and eventually her boyfriend and his son.

The plot revolves around a young boy who has been found in the desert with his parents who have died trying to cross from Mexico into the United States. The blended family take him in. After the boy, Pablo, has recovered, they decide to take him back to his village in Mexico. The trip includes an extension into Guatemala in quest of lost family connections.

Narrated by Sophie ( I find it significant that this name means "wisdom"), the young teen daughter of the English mother, the story is a coming of age story, and so much more. It raises very gently the question of illegal immigration. It throbs with the dreams and desires of people longing for a better life.

Many elements make this a terrific read--there is a very compelling and interesting plot; there are authentically drawn characters who speak in their own voices; there is an undercurrent of a significant issue being explored as the story unfolds.

I am already thinking of two places where I hope to recommend this marvelous book--for our church's youth group, and for one of my community college colleagues who teaches reading. Our church youth group recently completed a mission trip to El Paso, Texas, where they encountered first hand some of the consequences surrounding our country's complicated immigration policy.

And, for any reader out there looking for a very charming, terrific read--pick up Red Glass by Laura Resau.

Finally, thank you Leslie for the wonderful gift, and thank you Laura for your gift of writing.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I've added it to my reading wish list. Thanks Donna!

Jayne said...

I'll have to see about adding this to my Kindle. Thanks for the review Donna.

Anvilcloud said...

Good book, and a good review.

Leslie Patterson said...

Donna, I'm so glad you liked the book. It is my favorite of Laura's many wonderful books. I, too, think it absolutely transcends the YA label. I'm passing your terrific review onto the author. I feel so lucky to have her and you in my life.

Anonymous said...

THANKS! Adding it to my list and passing your recommendation along to others. If I enjoy it as much as I did this year's Newberry winner--(When I Find You) --I'll be pleased, indeed. I loved that my oldest grandson read it too. Perhaps that will be the case with Red Glass.


Laura Resau said...

Thanks for a lovely, thoughtful review, Donna! I've enjoyed perusing your blog!
Laura Resau

Ginnie said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I am an avid reader and your reviews in the past have been all to my liking. I will definitely read "Red Glass" and isn't it fun that the author took the time to thank you for your blog entry?

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I am currently bogged down in "Terrible Victory" by military historian Mark Zuehlke. It is the story of the liberation of the Scheldt estuary by Canadian and Polish forces in WWII. I could use a "good" fictional read about now.

Africakid said...

Red Glass looks interesting -- especially the immigration question! I'll keep an eye open for it at bookstores.