Danny is spending time with his extended family down in Argentina. He is recuperating from heart surgery, especially shocking as he is only ten years old. His trip down to South America is timely as he is not getting along with his stepfather, and he feels his twin siblings are the focus of his mother’s attention. His family lives in New York. The environment he is now entering is fraught with peril as a military junta has claimed the reigns of power. Danny’s birth father, David, is one of the disappeared, one of the unlucky who was taken in by authorities and never seen alive again. The remarriage of his mother is a sore point with his paternal grandmother. Danny witnesses the importance of family, which is held dear by his father’s relatives; he is spoiled with attention and food as soon as he arrives.His cousin Tony, a taxi-driver who lived up in Miami for a while, desires to show Danny the fun and questionable things in Danny’s home country. Uncle Claudio is a macho guy who plans on teaching Danny lessons in life, such as how quickly money can be frittered away while gambling. Danny is in for a long haul to be sure. What lessons will he take back with him after his month long journey?
Fast forward to 1999. Danny is a doctor toiling away at an urgent care in New York City. His work ethic is rigid and he endures headaches from needy patients and incompetent co-workers. A co-worker and friend named Priya is smitten with Danny, but his granite heart is impervious. Past events have rendered him shut off to accepting love. What happened to make Danny incapable of seeing the forest for the trees? He is cut off from his family and he learns from his sister that his stepdad is near death. Will he be the one to extend an olive branch? Is history something one should never forgive or forget?
Beguiling Dreams is an emotionally wrought book that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings with emotion and depth. The plot bobs and weaves over a twenty year period; the settings flip-flop, but the reader is never lost in the middle. The characters stand alone in their unique way, bringing humor, heart, snark, and bitterness to each scene. Danny is a protagonist worthy of empathy, even when making the reader furious with certain actions. The pain felt by him is palpable for the reader. The story moves with a sensitivity and strength that make it a worthwhile read.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||256 pages|
|Publisher||Dog Ear Publishing|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|