September 23, 2014

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: THE CITY OF PALACES by Michael Nava

 
We continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.  This week we are giving away an ebook copy of THE CITY OF PALACES by Michael Nava.  Enter to win by leaving a comment below and/ or by posting our hashtag on Twitter, #amreadingwiththelatinabookclub.  Winner will be announced next Monday.  And, look for more prizes every week during this special month.



A man must live his life in service of something. Without a cause, existence is pointless.  Whatever the stupid Christians may believe, the real hell is a life without purpose or meaning. -- Rodrigo Sarmiento



THE CITY OF PALACES is the first book in a new series by this gifted writer.  It's beautiful written, with strong engaging characters, rich narrative and astounding imagery.  Michael Nava has written a majestic, sweeping saga of a family, of a country.  Readers will be intrigued and captivated by the many contrasts within -- beauty and scars, grandeur and squalor, civilization and barbarism.  There is so much in this novel about family, about government, about corruption, about freedom, about faith. This book is destined to become a classic.  And this reader is eagerly anticipating book two in the new year.

SUMMARY:   It is the dawn of the 20th century and Miguel Sarmiento is a handsome young doctor just returned from his studies in Europe with a small practice among the wealthy of Mexico.  He is courted by many beautiful women, yet it is the scarred solterona Doña Alicia Gavilán that captures his attention and his heart.  They are complete opposites -- he is a modern man and she is the youngest daughter of an aristocratic family.  They have nothing in common and yet with her, he is the man he always wanted to be.  Alicia has dedicated herself to the less fortunate.  Her generosity and selflessness teach Miguel to love his people, his country.  Jealous rivals call them Beauty and the Beast but their marriage and love thrive and produces a son.  Miguel becomes a Health Inspector and begins to help the poor and diseased.  Now he sees the real Mexico, a country of opposites -- the grandeur and the squalor, the civilized and the barbaric.  Meanwhile, Alicia continues her help of the indigenous Yaquis Indians by forming an underground railroad to help them escape slavery and extinction.  Reluctantly, Miguel is pulled into politics and suddenly finds himself in the middle of the newest revolution.  And as the country celebrates its centennial with promises of a new century, new politics, new democracy, civil war breaks and a new dictatorship is born.  And, the Sarmiento family will pay a heavy price for their loyalty and their freedom.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Michael Nava, a third-generation Californian of Mexican descent, and the grandson of immigrants, was born in Sacramento. He is a lawyer and a writer, best known for his Henry Rios mystery series about a gay Latino criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles.  Michael is now at work writing a new series about  the Mexican Revolution, the near-genocide of the Yaquis (indigenous Indians) and the rise of silent film.  THE CITY OF PALACES is the first book in his Children of Eve series.  To learn more about the series and this gifted writer, visit him at http://michaelnavawriter.com.