Dear Great Book Guru, Last weekend, we had friends over for a Valentine’s celebration and one of the guests mentioned a book that is part of the Together We Read program - unlimited quantities available online with your local library card. She didn’t know the name of the book being discussed this month. Are you familiar with it? Post Valentine Reader
Dear Post Valentine Reader, Together We Read is a great program and the name of the book chosen is FIVE WOUNDS by Kirstin Valdez Quade. It’s a beautifully told story of four generations of the Padilla family living in a small village near Espanola, New Mexico. Their story is told in alternating chapters by three family members: Amadeo, an unemployed thirty-three year old man about to become a grandfather; Yolanda, his mother who is the family breadwinner working for a local legislator; and Angel, her pregnant granddaughter, who has just moved in with them. The five wounds refer to a religious ritual in which a local man is chosen to portray Christ in a procession through the village at Easter time. When the story opens, Amadeo has just discovered he has been chosen, and he immediately sees this as a sign that he should change his ways. At the same time his mother is diagnosed with a terminal illness and a difficult life becomes infinitely more difficult. Throughout, decisions are made that seem only to add chaos to already tumultuous lives, but as our affection for the characters grows, we realize that redemption is always possible. Highly recommended!