From the Desk of Steven Mortell
From the novel Vida by Patricia Engel comes a short story titled “Lucho” about youth, love, and tragedy. Patricia is a talented and up and coming novelist who’s premier book Vida can be seen as both a progressive novel or collection of short stories.
Personally, I loved Engel’s novel and although I believe each story can be read alone and still have a profound effect on the reader, Vida as a complete novel shows dramatic character development and a narration that seems to speak to the pre-teen soul. Don’t miss understand what it means to be described as a pre-teen narrative. Patricia’s strong writing and ability to evoke emotion makes these stories appeal to men and women of all ages.
“Lucho” is a dramatic short story found in Vida that utilizes a first person narrative to describe loneness and love lost. The story is portrayed through the eyes of a13-year-old named Sabina, whose parents have recently immigrated to America from Columbia. Aside from being a love story, “Lucho” tackles issues of community, finance and violence against woman. Sabina’s uncle, who is in business with her parents, is currently on trial for the murder of his wife. Sabina believes her uncle is guilty of the crime and as a result of her uncles mishap Sabina and her Parents become the subjects of gossip and ridicule.
“Engel’s sturdy, unflashy sentences aren’t for savoring. Instead a tingle of recognition builds as detail after detail sings with the veracity of real life”~ Sophia Lear NY Times*
Amists Sabina’s family ordeal readers are introduced to the loneliness Sabina endures through her social turmoil. Sabina desperately searches for companionship until one day it finds her. Lucho is a cute yet smelly boy who just moved into town. Unlike the rest of Sabina’s neighborhood, Lucho seems to care more for Sabina’s side of the story , pertaining to her uncle, rather than the communities.
The story goes on to describe a love affair between Lucho and Sabina that never amounts to a physical relationship due to a twist in the plot. Although I don’t want to spoil the ending, I must say the story is worth checking out. Patricia Engel has a beautifully blunt way with words that both serenades and captivates readers.