Saturday, June 23, 2012
Book Review - Dove Season
A son, Jimmy, returns home to Holtville, near the Mexican border, to help his ailing father who is dying from cancer. Big Jack has kept his illness to himself until he knew time was growing short, so he called his son because he had a last request. Jimmy feels the need to do the right thing and return home to see how he can help his father. He also wants to set things right between the two of them while there is still time.
Now Jimmy is the kind of character that doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere he goes. Perhaps he doesn’t want to face adulthood because he doesn’t really have a life going on in his new home and he can’t really get it together in Holtville either, which is just a small dusty, desert town with no hope of any type of advancement in life.
Shortly after Jimmy arrives, he finds out his father’s last wish is to find the prostitute Yolanda, who may be somewhere in Mexico. He wants to spend some time with her before he dies. Jimmy reunites with his old best friend, Bobby, who assists him in fulfilling his dad’s last wish. This entails a trip into Mexico where they run into all sorts of trouble, such as fist fights, getting drunk and dealing with some dark and dangerous characters. Bobby does his best to keep Jimmy out of trouble even though Jimmy pretty much left his friends and everything behind when he left twelve years earlier.
Eventually, Jimmy falls in with his old girlfriend and there is some question as to whether he will make the decision to stay in Holtville or not.
I was hooked on this gripping read from the first page, but it does contain a lot of violence and action packed scenes as well as a bit of humor, which softens this story of what it’s actually like to live on the California/Mexico border today and to deal with losing people you love. There are many troubles and at times Jimmy finds himself in the middle of things.
The characters of Jimmy, his father Big Jack, his best friend Bobby, and the prostitute Yolanda are well done as are the relationships between these characters. They seem real and believable.
The desert descriptions in this story are also very well done and place you right there. I used to live in southern California and have been in the desert there and I live in the desert now, although in a different state. I could easily relate to all the dusty, desolate conditions and the jack rabbits, etc.
I enjoyed this book a lot even though the last part of it wasn’t as good as the first three quarters of the book and could easily have been a different story. The tone was totally different and not what I expected, but I can see how the author wanted to tie in all the trouble south of the border.
I would definitely read something else by this talented author.