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House divided
Raul Ramos y Sanchez
Adult Fiction RAMOS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

American Libre author Ramos y Sanchez offers myriad perspectives on a civil war in his slushy latest. War has ravaged a Los Angeles where people who are designated "class H"-Hispanic, married to someone Hispanic, or having at least one grandparent of Hispanic origin-are carted off to quarantine zones. As a violent uprising stirs, Manolo Suarez, who has already lost a son to the war, fears for his other son, 13-year-old Pedro, who falls under the spell of a charismatic gang leader. As Manolo fights to keep his family safe, a slew of story lines sprout: two U.N. delegates of Hispanic origin with opposing views on how best to support their people, an ambitious C.I.A. operative, a young officer hell-bent on proving himself to his superiors. Unfortunately, Ramos y Sanchez neglects his characters' psychological and emotional development and instead leans heavily on potboiler plot twists and dialogue that too often slumps into action-movie banter. The novel is unfailingly earnest and moves confidently enough, but the treatment of conflict and its aftereffects is too shallow to resonate. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Set in an undefined future, this sequel to the Cuban-born Ramos y Sanchez's America Libre centers on a hypothetical insurgence of American Hispanics who, now that they have nonvoting representation in the UN, want to create their own autonomous nation on U.S. soil. Though the exact causes of the conflict are unclear, the segregation of the Hispanic population into several quarantine zones indicates the federal government's degree of hostility. Against this macrocosmic conflict, the author develops a microcosmic one concerning Mano Suarez; his wife, Rosa; and their rebellious adolescent son, Pedro. This conflict gradually takes over the book, as Pedro vacillates between sides. Though the narrative is packed with bombings, kidnappings, sieges, and all the usual trappings of terrorist activity, the characters are stylized and cardboard in a "them vs. us" mold. Though symbolic, the sexual union of members from each faction rests uneasily. Ramos politicizes the events with allusions to icons and events of modern U.S. history-a President Nixon (here Richard's great-nephew), the Chicago Seven, Deep Throat. Verdict While the premise is inventive and highly original, it gets lost in the maze of characters and overwritten prose. One can't help but wonder, given the open ending, whether a third installment isn't waiting in the wings.-Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Manolo Suarez
Male
Father
Lost his one son in the war; worries for his other son;.



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