Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachman
Daniel Aguilar is haunted by the memory of the night soldiers burst into his home looking for his father. He feels that it is his fault that his mother revealed the whereabouts of his father. If only he hadn't gotten out of bed. If only that soldier hadn't placed a gun to his head. His father was caught, imprisoned and tortured. He and his mother and sister emigrated to Madison, Wisconsin.

Five years pass and Daniel's father is finally released from prison thanks to a letter-writing campaign that was organized by Daniel's mother and a committee from the University of Wisconsin dedicated to freeing the political prisoners of the Pinochet regime. The man who disembarks from the plane is not his father. This is a broken man, prematurely gray, malnourished and prone to nightmares. He walks with a limp and one of his arms is weak due to the brain damage he suffered during one particularly grueling torture session.

Daniel has a life in Madison. He plays in a band, has a white girlfriend and wants to study engineering in college. He doesn't know this angry, alcoholic man and doesn't think he wants to. This complex, difficult novel explores a father-son relationship that is complicated by the demands of a higher calling. As the front cover asks, "When history calls your name, how will you answer?"

Daniel is a likable, believable character that I think will draw teens in. His unusual family dynamics may just prompt readers to do a little research into the Pinochet regime.