Main_shame_the_stars_final_cover_belpre_accent_small

Shame the Stars

Review
By Publishers Weekly

McCall’s (Summer of the Mariposas) complex historical novel explores a seldom-covered era: the struggle between American-born Mexicans (Tejanos) and white Americans in border towns during the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century. Narrated by 18-year-old Tejano Joaquín del Toro, a secret poet impassioned both by his love for 18-year-old Dulceña Villa and his strong sense of justice, the book covers three-and-a-half bloody years in the small Texas town of Monteseco in graphic detail. Initially torn apart by their fathers’ opposing stances on dealing with the corrupt Rangers who rule the town, Joaquín and Dulceña are set up as Romeo and Juliet figures, but startling revelations bring the families to work for the same side. Sophisticated readers will appreciate the intricate political and ethical questions raised, as well as their relevance to contemporary border issues. McCall’s depiction of two important female characters, who stand out for their strength and grace in an otherwise staunchly traditional—and often hot-headed—male hierarchy, is especially compelling. A character list helps readers track the extensive cast, primary-source newspaper clippings appear throughout, and back matter includes a glossary, historical background, and reading suggestions.