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Red Glass (2007)

av Laura Resau

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3371856,262 (3.97)20
Sixteen-year-old Sophie has been frail and delicate since her premature birth, but discovers her true strength during a journey through Mexico, where the six-year-old orphan her family hopes to adopt was born, and to Guatemala, where her would-be boyfriend hopes to find his mother and plans to remain.… (mer)
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Rating: 3.5

16-year-old Sophie’s stepdad, Juan, is Mexican-American. He gained legal status when he married her mom nine years before. An importer, he has many connections with his home country. Late one February night, the family receives a phone call from Border Patrol. A group of migrants has been found dead in the desert outside of Tucson, Arizona—where the family lives. There’s a single survivor: a traumatized little boy, Pablo, who is about five. Sophie’s stepdad’s business card was found in one of the boy’s pants pockets. While Juan has helped migrants in the past, feeding and housing them overnight in emergency situations, he denies knowing anything about this group or this particular child.

When the family arrives at the hospital to see the boy and meet with a Border Patrol officer, Sophie’s Great-Aunt Dika, herself a traumatized refugee of the Bosnian war (whom Sophie’s family has taken in), decides they must foster this child. Eventually, Juan makes contact with the boy’s surviving relatives in Oaxaca, Mexico. It is decided that Pablo, who barely speaks and who insists on sleeping outdoors with the chickens, will stay in Tucson for the school year. Then, in the summer, he will be reunited with his Mexican relatives and make a decision about whether to stay in the US or return to his homeland.

The story mostly revolves around the road trip Sophie, Dika, and Pablo take in a VW van with Dika’s boyfriend, Lorenzo, and his teenage son, Angel. Lorenzo and Angel made their own dangerous trek across the desert years before, fleeing extreme violence in Guatemala. Lorenzo was, in fact, tortured by government soldiers. Angel feels there’s a chance that his mother may still be alive. He also wants to retrieve her “jewels”, which he saw her bury years before. Possibly, too, he may stay in Guatemala, set up a business there, as he has never felt at home in America. The plan is for the father and son to drop off the women and Pablo at the boy’s Oaxacan village and then proceed by bus to Guatemala. The men are to return in a week for Dika, Sophie, and possibly Pablo (should he decide to live in America). They will then drive back to the US. However, things go very wrong for Lorenzo and Angel in Guatemala, and it falls upon Sophie to travel south to assist.

Resau’s novel is mostly an engaging one. An anthropologist by training, she apparently taught in the Oaxaca region for two years, and it shows in her convincing descriptions of the landscape and in her understanding of Mexican culture and customs. A large part of the book focuses on Sophie’s growing love for Angel, which is also quite nicely done. At times the writing is a little forcedly lyrical. (There are, for example, a few scenes in which petals drop from flowering trees upon the young lovers.) Symbolism around red glass can be heavy handed as well. Characterization is sometimes less than subtle. Dika is slightly cartoonish, and Sophie’s anxiety issues (OCD) are sometimes described too fulsomely—and they resolve way too easily considering the unhygienic conditions, even squalor, that the girl encounters.

Resau makes considerable use of St. Exupery’s The Little Prince. Passages from that French novel appear as epigraphs for each part of Red Glass, and they work well to underscore themes and provide extra layers of meaning.

In the end, I generally liked this novel, though I found some plot developments implausible or too convenient. The concluding sections, in particular, seem a little too tidy, even for a young adult novel. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Sep 16, 2019 |
Red Glass by Laura Resau is a YA coming of age book that both enchants and enthralls. The story is about a journey of transformation that a small group of people make deep into Mexico and some even further into Guatemala. Sophie, the main character, is an American girl who is timid and weak, she is germ phobic and afraid of most everything. She is accompanied by her great-aunt, Dika. Dika is a survivor from Bosnia. Also along are Dika’s boyfriend Mr. Lorenzo and his son, Angel. The purpose of their trip is to take Pablo, a refugee that has been living with Sophie’s family back to his relatives in Mexico. Sophie is hoping that Pablo decides to return to the States with her as she considers him her little brother. Mr. Lorenzo and Angel intend to journey back into Guatemala in order to recover some jewels that Mrs. Lorenzo buried. Angel is also hoping to find out exactly what happened to his Mother.

The story is almost like a morality tale. Goodness and light seem to follow Sophie and her friends and although some horrific things do happen over the course of the book, in all cases, a life lesson is learned and someone is turned down the right path. The book is very informative about food, customs and the people of Mexico and if it seems as if we are looking through rose colored glasses it was nice to read good things about poor people in a developing country.

I found Red Glass to be a rich, poetic read and a wonderful way to widen a young reader’s worldview. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | May 21, 2016 |
Sixteen-year-old Sophie is afraid of almost everything. When her boyfriend was attacked and robbed in Guatemala she decided to travel there from Mexico to rescue him, proving that she can overcome her fears. With characters from multiple countries and lifestyles the author maintained an unprejudiced view, showing a remarkable understanding of the mix of cultures. This beautiful story will inspire and encourage young adults as well as informing them that underprivileged people, even those from dangerous war-torn countries, can be just as generous, hospitable and friendly as anyone else. ( )
  VivienneR | May 9, 2016 |
Simply beautiful novel about love, courage and discovering what one is capable of, plus a dash of magical realism. The Latin American setting is also as essential a character in this romance as the main players. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Sophie moves from fearful of everything in life to a person courageous and daring while Resau covers the plight of illegal immigrants, genocide in Guatemala and gems of philosophical insight throughout. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
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Sixteen-year-old Sophie has been frail and delicate since her premature birth, but discovers her true strength during a journey through Mexico, where the six-year-old orphan her family hopes to adopt was born, and to Guatemala, where her would-be boyfriend hopes to find his mother and plans to remain.

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