Strong and resilient as the houses he builds, Thomas Coyote comes into Luna's life one extraordinary night when his grandmother nearly dies while conjuring a fiery brew of spiritual enchantment. Luna does not need a man, especially one with a needy ex-wife, to complicate her fragile dreams of the future. Their attraction pushes them both beyond reason into a place where there is only possibility. Yet it will take more than passion to recover the tattered pieces of Luna's soul, more than time to forgive the sins of an offending husband, and more than promises to mend the broken heart of a child.
©2003 Barbara Samuel; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Readers should have their handkerchiefs ready and be prepared to become enchanted with the mystical New Mexico scenery."(Booklist)
First let me say that Barbara Samuel places most of her books in the same part of the country as this - New Mexico or Colorado and it is evident that she knows the area and the different ethnic groups native to the area very well. She is able to bring a distinct voice to each group of very distinct people that inhabit this area in a way that brings the people and the region alive.
The plot of this novel, an alcoholic mother who lost her marriage, her child and her career and is slowly rebuilding her life could have become maudlin and melodramatic. But the author doesn't focus on the tragedies of Luna's life, she focuses on her rebuilding of her life and that makes a big difference.
If I understand Ms. Samuel and all of her pseudonyms, this book is more of a romance than a women's fiction book, but I actually thought that the romance, while it does take up considerable space in the plot, isn't the main focus of the book. Emphasis is placed on all of her primary relationships, both the good ones and the bad ones, so we get to know Luna as a well rounded character, not just a woman falling in love. There is also considerable attention paid to the relationships of secondary characters in the book, some that Luna has no direct connection to. And yet, even if they are only on the periphery of Luna's life, they also help explain a part of her complex past.
I found this book very compelling. I loved watching all of the characters, if not grow, at least gain in their understanding of themselves. I thought parts of it were terribly poignant and parts had universal applicability. It was essentially a novel of growth and acceptance. It had no highly dramatic climax. It seemed much more like the course of real life.
Bernadette Dunne is one of my favorite narrators. She voices Samuel's characters beautifully.
I highly recommend this book.
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