Red Glass by Laura Resau
At 16 years old, Sophie considers herself an amoeba, floating freely without an attachment to any group at school since her best friend transferred to another school. Her drug dealer biological father left when she was a baby and she and her mom were on their own until she was 7, when her mom married her good stepdad Juan. Having been fearful o being left alone if anything happened to her mother, Sophie worried twice as much after her mother married Juan. When Border Patrol calls to say a lone survivor of migrants crossing the desert near their Arizona home is a young boy with Juan’s business card in his pocket, they take him in as a foster child. Their extended family also includes great-aunt Dika, a boisterous refugee from the Bosnian civil war. Barely speaking, on his third day with them the boy says his name is Pablo, weeks later he tells them his age is 6, then says nothing for another nine months. Choosing to sleep outside next to their chicken coop, Pablo starts talking the following spring, telling about chickens in his hometown. Calling the town, they learn he has a large extended family. A plan evolves to drive Pablo, Sophie and assorted friends and family members in a VW bus to Pablo’s village in Mexico. When friends travel on to Guatemala to trace family members missing from civil war, Sophie has to overcome her imagined fears to face real dangerous situations to help them.
Laura Resau has created an amazing panoply of larger than life characters all connected to each other through improbable but believable circumstances. As I read this book I found myself hoping for each of them to reach a positive resolution of all the challenges they faced. Without giving away the ending, I was glad with the wathe book finished.
Reviewed by Ellie Goldstein Erickson
Book trailer by Sarah Rogers