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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Into The Beautiful North by Luis Urrea - a review

When the small village of Tres Camarones in southern Mexico is threatened by drug dealers a group of teenagers volunteer to head north to America and bring home able-bodied men to protect the village. Inspired by watching the film 'The Magnificent Seven' they intend to smuggle back into Mexico men who might help in their protection.
Most of the men, including protagonist Nayeli's father, left for a better life intending to send money home at some time but as it appears just abandoned their families leaving women, children and a gay teenage boy to manage the town.
Nayeli is on a "mission from God" - also inspired by the showing of 'The Blues Brothers' at the local cinema - and intended  to seek out her father, and is under instruction from her aunt Irma, now the town's Mayor,  to contact her old flame from years past and help recapture his heart too.
This fable is at once funny and powerful - the only surprise is that it took me longer than I anticipated to get through it, the images evoked were so powerful and enticing that I had to slow down to enjoy every drop and morsel presented.

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