Lake Union. Sept. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781542032674. pap. $14.95. F
Marketing executive Alex Martinez is primed to celebrate her one-year divorce-aversary. It’s been a tough year, but she is physically strong and emotionally independent. When a fall at work prompts her caring boss to insist that she see a doctor, a serious, unpronounceable diagnosis wrenches her world. Suddenly terrified and vulnerable, Alex totally botches a marketing plan that would revamp the company’s image and ends up with some nonnegotiable time off. Alex just cannot tell her two mothers about her condition after their loss of another daughter to cancer. When she discovers the travel guide her sister had pored over, Alex impulsively decides to head to the Grand Canyon, and then why not Costa Rica and Puerto Rico too? Her journey provides opportunities to reevaluate friendships, career satisfaction, and the end of her marriage, providing the setting for the growth needed to face her diagnosis. Old and new friends, a budding relationship, and mothers who love with ferocity must convince Alex that it is okay to need others.
VERDICT Cuban American Escudero (The Apology Project) writes a sometimes gritty, occasionally hilarious, and mostly heart-wrenching story. A relatable, gripping tale, infused with Latinx culture, that packs an emotional wallop.
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