A Scarcity of Condors
Book 3 of the Venery Series
Release Date: December 16, 2019
Juleón “Jude” Tholet has survival in his DNA. His father, Cleón, lived through imprisonment and torture during Pinochet’s military coup in Chile. His mother, Penny, risked everything to gain her husband’s freedom and flee the country with their newborn son. But as a closeted gay teenager growing up in Vancouver, Jude is targeted by a neighborhood bully called El Cóndor, culminating in a vicious hate crime that forces the Tholets to flee their country again.
Jude cautiously rebuilds his life in Seattle, becoming an accomplished pianist, but his his wings have been clipped and he cannot seem to soar in his relationships. Only family remains a constant source of strength and joy, until a DNA test reveals something that shocks all the Tholets: Jude is not their child.
Stunned by the test results, the Tholets must dig into their painful past, re-examine their lives in 1973 Santiago and the events surrounding Jude’s birth story. It’s a tale rooted in South America’s Operation Condor. It spreads through Pinochet’s terrifying regime of detention camps, torture, disappeared civilians and stolen children. The journey forces Penny Tholet to confront the gaps in her memory while Cleón must re-live an ordeal he’s long kept hidden away in a secret world. The tale ends with Jude digging through his genetic code in a quest to find his biological parents. Are they alive? Or are they among Los Desaparecidos—the Disappeared Ones?
Suanne Laqueur’s third book in the Venery series explores the desperate acts of love made in times of war, and the many ways family can be defined.
Stunning! Another powerful story of family, love, loss and the bonds of family from Suanne Laqueur.
Jude Tholet grew up surrounded by a loving and accepting family. When he came out as gay as a teenager, his family tried to protect him from almost unspeakable violence by moving from their home in Vancouver to Seattle. But his parents Cleon and Penelope had themselves seen horrible violence before, when they escaped from the brutality of Pinochet’s regime in Chile. I had a passing knowledge of the torture inflicted by soldiers and the government on ordinary citizens but this book had me gasping and sobbing at the atrocities. Sadly, Jude’s family was all too acquainted with violence.
“You must survive this. Build your house again. Pick up the knocked-over furniture, straighten the rugs, sweep the floor. Start again because thou shalt survive.”
Jude’s world is turned upside down when he receives news of a DNA test that showed that he was not related to his parents or those he thought of as his family. Jude and his family are stunned and the revelation forces them all to confront the painful realities of their past. But they face it united, as a family. This is the beauty of Suanne Laqueur’s writing – the loyalty, unconditional love and devotion the Tholets show one another is simply breathtaking.
There is most definitely a very adult and very sexy love story here between Jude and his new love Tej. I loved their beautiful and mature relationship and felt these two characters’ connection to each other. But would Jude’s past ruin this amazing connection?
“My habit is flight,” Jude said. “I’m hardwired like a refugee, with a bag packed and a foot out the door. First sign of trouble, I head for the border.”
This is a very difficult and graphic story to read but one that is vitally important for the world to know. We must never forget what happened in Chile in 1973 and the horrors inflicted by Pinochet. And once Jude’s parents learn of the DNA test results, they too stop at nothing to uncover the truth of what really happened the night that Jude was born. They are good people and are devastated at what the truth might be.
“The most the Tholets could hope for was a satisfying truth built out of the pieces. A truth that could never be verified, but a truth they still could believe in.”
This is a emotional story but one that is sprinkled with humor and grace and love. If you loved the other stories in the Venery series, then you will love this book as well! There is a very satisfying conclusion that felt true and real and filled with humanity.
“The sky is before me and the sky is vast. The sky has room for many true kings, as long as they know their purpose.”
(ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.)
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To be shipped after the December 16th release date
A former professional dancer and teacher, Suanne Laqueur went from choreographing music to choreographing words. Her work has been described as Therapy Fiction, Emotionally Intelligent Romance and Contemporary Train Wreck. Whatever you want to call it, her goal is to write stories that appeal to the passions of all readers, crossing gender, age and genre.
Suanne Laqueur’sAn Exaltation of Larks won the Grand Prize in the 2017 Writer’s Digest Book Awards. Her debut novel The Man I Love and its follow-up, Give Me Your Answer True, won gold medals in the 2015 and 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Both were finalists in the 2015 and 2016 Kindle Book Awards, and Laqueur was named a gold medal Debut Author with Feathered Quill Book Reviews.
Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater, and taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children. Visit her at http://suannelaqueurwrites.com. All feels welcome. And she always has coffee.
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