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Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle


Review:- The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle is about two couples who live in the same area but their lives are worlds apart. The chapters alternate, written by each of the characters. There's Candido, a recent divorcee to his current wife's older sister and there's America, Candido's new wife, 17 year old and also pregnant who left her whole family for Candido and the American dream, they are Mexicans who have crossed the borders illegally and are camping at Topanga Creek in Los Angeles, homeless.

Then there's Kyra, a successful Real Estate agent and the bread winner of her family, she is married to Delaney who is the stay at home Husband and Step-Father to Kyra's son from her first marriage, Jordan. Delaney is also a freelance writer who has his own nature column. They have the proposed American dream of a beautiful home at an exclusive estate with important neighbors and nice cars. They too have recently moved to Topanga Creek but with a different reason to Candido and America, they moved simply to be closer to nature and yet still be close enough to the amenities of the city.

Their lives collide when Delaney hits Candido with his car, Candido refuses medical treatment and requests for cash instead. Delaney gives Candido $20 and from then on their lives each impact the others' lives unknowingly.

This is a book like no other and it's definitely not one that I would have picked up on my own accord, it was this month's discussion in one of the online book clubs. Whilst it was a slow read for me I would still say that it's enjoyable enough. There were a lot of heart wrenching moments and it really opened my eyes to what people actually go through and hence, I was able to be more thankful for what I do have. The pain that Candido and America goes through for simple basic needs is just pitiful and in today's society no one should have to go through that. 

In the discussion forum for the book club there are so many different points of views. Many simply states that they are illegal and so...but I personally think that many of us that live in a beautiful country and able to have the basics are just lucky, it could have been any of us to be born in the wrong country, to the wrong family with the incorrect financial status so we need to have compassion for those that do not have what we have as it's certainly not their fault. Candido and America are hard workers, many Americans or Australians probably aren't willing to work as hard as them for minimal wage but they are and what for? To simply have what we all take for granted. A roof over our heads and food on our table.

Anyway, the book is a deep thinking novel which introduces many themes and they are serious themes. This is an eye opener to what others go through and I'm grateful for reading this book as it has changed my perspective on many things and have also allowed me to be more understanding of people's circumstances. Like I said it is not an easy read and could seem a bit tedious at times but persevere as it teaches the readers many things, including compassion, love, understanding and appreciation. 

1 comments:

Sharon said...

Thanks for this thoughtful review. I think I'll have to put this on my TBR list.

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