Limon, the author of several other novels set in Mexico or along the border, narrates the story of a group of travelers-almost all complete strangers- who cast their lot with the experienced smuggler Leonardo Cerda. Among them are Julio and his son, Manuelio, 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 Salvadoran woman has survived both her country's civil war and an abusive husband. 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 point 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. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Migrants know this highway as la Ocho , the road that takes them to a better life, but the trail that leads to that highway is ruthless and unforgiving. Fearful that Cerda may be one of those who will collect their money up front and then leave them stranded to die, the travelers ultimately are forced to put their trust in him and begin the dangerous crossing to a new life. Afraid even of each other, they initially avoid eye contact or conversation.
But as the three-day passage across the blistering landscape progresses, the fight to survive the grueling trip ensures that their lives and deaths are linked forever. While trudging along, placing one exhausted foot in front of the other, the travelers each remember their lives and the reasons they have been forced to abandon their land, homes and loved ones. Among the immigrants is Menda Fuentes, a salvadorena , the only member of her family to survive a massacre during her country s civil war. Then there is Julio Escalante and his young grandson Manuelito, who pay the full fee even though they plan to go only halfway.
By their side is Encarnacion Padilla, an ancient indigenous woman who has survived ostracism and her involvement in the Zapatista uprising. Next to her walk Nicanor and Borrego Osuna, two brothers who suffer the ultimate indignity just to make it to the United States.
Finally, there is Armando Guerrero, shifty, suspicious-looking, and clearly different from the rest because of his fancy clothes as well as the mysterious bag to which he clings.
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In addition to confronting their own internal demons, they must also face the dangers that they encounter on the trail: This riveting novel explores the lives behind the news stories and confirms Limon's status as one of the country s premiere Latinas writing about issues that affect us all.
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She does not show up. That evening, Philip tells David that he and Margaret have become engaged.
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A letter of apology from Margaret arrives, excusing her absence and expressing the hope that she will not come between the two friends. Full of self-contempt, David takes comfort in the fact that Margaret and Philip haven't noticed his passion. Already struggling with his thesis, he abandons it and takes reviewing work with a 'highbrow' weekly in London.
He visits Philip and Margaret in Yorkshire, where he notes signs of incompatibility and basks in Margaret's company.
Philip's mother is all admiration for his skills as matchmaker. The following spring David is invited to join the couple as organiser, interpreter and friend, on a tour of Greece. He knows he shouldn't go, but convinces himself he will be strong enough not to come between them. In Greece, however, with David in his element, Philip's jealousy awakens; it irritates Margaret. In a dramatic crisis near Olympia , Margaret and Philip quarrel and by bad luck are separated during a long mountain hike, Margaret being benighted with David.
Next day, convinced that he has been betrayed he hasn't , Philip strikes his friend and returns alone to Athens, where he attempts suicide. The attempt leaves him suffering from memory-loss, depression and a nervous possessiveness. Margaret and David, now lovers, nurse him and bring him back to England.
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The pair steal night meetings on the moors the novel "contains a scene of love in the heather above Swaledale that was considered unusually frank for ", recalled a colleague of Lucas's at King's. On leave from training and later from the Front, he visits Margaret and Philip in Yorkshire, the two lovers resuming the secret affair. Growing careless, one dawn they are discovered by Philip, whose memory of events at Olympia horribly returns. The lovers part for the last time. David returns to the Trenches.
His journal ends abruptly in September , in mid-sentence. Lucas did not write a World War I memoir as such, but described some of his wartime experiences in The River Flows , in Journal Under the Terror, and in autobiographical essays in The Greatest Problem, and other essays
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