Under the Mesquite

By The Galavanting Girl Scout

For a book written in verse to work there has to be a damn good reason for the stylistic choice. For Under the Mesquite it worked. The book is driven by emotion. The writing is not overdone, at times even sparse and always poignant. It’s the story of a girl growing up as her mother slowly succumbs to cancer. It’s heartbreaking, but not in a cheap way. Rather than focus on the details of the disease, the reader experiences what Lupita feels throughout her mother’s sickness. Somehow the verse gives the emotion room to breathe.

Stories involving cancer have been done, re-done and will continue to be done…But this book felt different and refreshing. There is nothing trite about the way this story is told.

It’s not a long book but there’s a lot of life and growing up between it’s pages. It flits between Spanish and English, Texas and Mexico, childhood and adulthood seamlessly. It’s a beautiful little book that I’m glad I stumbled across.