Thursday, September 22, 2011
Two ebooks you won't want to miss: A tale of love and loss, and stories from a cantina
Arizona writer Harvey Stanbrough's two little books are gems. Set in Mexico in tiny villages.
The Cycle of Ramon tells the story of a young man named Ramon and his sweetheart Maria Elena. You know from the book's cover that this is a lament, for there it says "sometimes letting go just isn't possible." The story itself begins like this: "The world had been sad for three days. The sky wept steadily, softly, the water drip, drip, dripping from limbs and leaves of trees and eaves of houses, trickling into rivulets and streams that whispered their way east, to the ocean. There was only the overcast and mist and rain, but no thunder. Only the gentle pattering of drops that seemed almost to hush each other as they washed houses and fences and gardens and roads and paths. Only the cool, mute darkness" of a young widow's grief.
And that is what pulled me in, and will pull you in, too. From childhood, Ramon and Maria Elena have known each other, and from childhood Ramon has known in his heart that she one day will be his wife and the mother of his children. And then something awful intervenes and you are with her in her grief.
~ ~ ~
Stories from the Cantina are what you would expect from the owner of an old cantina in a tiny village most anywhere: tall tales about people and strange happenings, people passing through, a strange young man named José Dominguez de Silva and his wife Eufemia, both the 13th child of a 13th child going back for 13 generations, their 13th child, whom his mother curses at his birth with the name "Maldito" meaning cursed, damned, chastened by Divine justice and (if those are not bad enough "the Devil"). Little Maldito is a most intriguing little boy: sensitive, bright, an outstanding artist. I think we can expect to hear a lot more about Maldito from the pen of Harvey Stanbrough; he is one of the most fascinating characters I've encountered in a while.
Published by StoneThread Publications, 2011. Available from Smashwords www.smashwords.com and Amazon www.amazon.com
Very definite 5 star reads.