Gabriela finds herself struggling to survive in her native land as war ends just as bloody as it started. She runs from one evil to find herself in the hands of another. Eventually, she makes her way to the states where she becomes the nurse/assistant of a dying widow whose life is many stories that would take years to tell.
It is through the widow's telling of her life that Gabriela matures and discovers other worlds that expand the meaning of her own life.
The characters are very intriguing. They are not perfect. They are not all bad. I do think that the character, the widow, was the one that was the most well-developed. She shifted between her various mental states in a way that had the reader experiencing the same confusion, frustration, and admiration that Gabriela felt. I think every character in the book was interesting with hints of their own stories that could have been told in depth outside of this book. Each one showed they were more than a character helping the two main ones on their literary journey. They all had life.
The story is extremely captivating. You want to keep reading to find out what is next is store for the young girl and what new things she will discover with from the widow. Many times, the reader is taken into a dream world that connects the two characters and reveals much about their past and their future.
Overall, the pace is very slow. This is not an action story or a mystery. It is a drama that is emotional as well as verbal. You will find that you can easily set the book down at the end of each chapter and resume it quickly the next time you dive in. At the same time, you want to keep reading to see what will happen next.
Mr. Remick's style is extremely interesting and had me scratching my head one minute and smiling the next. He mixes history in with psychological explorations of the characters. This is more than a simple story. This is a detailed examination of life.
There are some intense scenes that are not described in ways that are vulgar, but they do come close. Most words and used in a cryptic manner, but the reader would easily be able to understand them though Gabriela might not. There is a lot of Spanish in it, but translations occur throughout the story as Gabriela learns English.
If you like a deep book that will take you more than a day or two to read, I strongly suggest you check this book out. Mr. Remick is a master at writing.
Note: This book was received as part of a tour with no expectation of a positive review.