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September 23, 2020

Remedios by Deborah Clearman ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Do you know what this stuff does to  people?  Fernando wanted to ask.  As if he'd read his thoughts Felix said 'No one here uses it. It's going far away.  We don't have anything to do with that."  (p 85)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

July 2020; New Meridian Arts; 978-1734383508
print (228 pages); literature
The premise of Remedios about a drug dealer in Guatemala didn't interest me much but after I read the first chapter about Fernando's family life, I was hooked.  Yes, there is a meth lab and some unsavory characters but the book is mostly about Fernando and his family and how a bad decision can totally change the life of a family.

Fernando is a college professor and lives in a nice house with his wife and children.  They appear to be upper middle class and have a good life.  One day a childhood friend of Fernando's shows up at his office.  He hadn't seen Memo in over 30 years but he is happy to see him and takes him home to meet his family over lunch.  Soon the family falls under Memo's concerned and loving attitude to the point that Fernando allows him to build a meth lab at the family property outside the city; Felix, the oldest son goes to work for him and Sandra, Fernando's young wife,  is sexually attracted to him.  From the outside, it all looks positive - Fernando is able to pay off a loan shark, Felix is able to find a good job without leaving the country and Sandra is happy but feeling a lot of guilt.  Despite the people in town believing that the meth lab is a manufacturing site for household products, things begin to go very wrong when the Mexican cartel becomes involved.  As the family crisis grows and affects all of Fernando's family, they all realize that they are paying the price for making bad decisions and trusting the wrong person.

I really enjoyed this book - it's an intense page-turning novel but at the center is a likable innocent family who has lost their way.

Buy Remedios at Amazon

About Deborah Clearman

Deborah is the former Program Director of the NY Writers Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering creative writing workshops to disenfranchised populations throughout New York City. She has led writing workshops for seniors, the homeless, and adults in public housing, and since 2011 has led an ongoing weekly workshop for women and men in jail on Rikers Island. She lives in Manhattan and Guatemala.

Since her first visit to Guatemala in 1978, Deborah has been back many times, living for a year in the village of Todos Santos in 2001-2002. She continues to maintain a close connection to the country and her Guatemalan friends to this day.

Find out more about Deborah at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. This definitely sounds like an intense read! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours