About the Book:
FORECAST: Storm clouds are on the horizon in this fun, fast-paced novel of an affluent Mexican-American family from the author of the #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller Esperanza’s Box of Saints.
L.A. is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, the weather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He’s harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters—Claudia, a television chef with a hard-hearted attitude; Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt; and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers—are blindsided and left questioning everything they know. Each will have to take a critical look at her own relationships and make some tough decisions along the way.
With quick wit and humor, Maria Amparo Escandón follows the Alvarado family as they wrestle with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal, and their toughest decision yet: whether to stick together or burn it all down.
What a fun, warm family saga! If you like the structure of telenovelas, then you will enjoy this broadly-written, fast-paced family drama. There is lots of buzz around this book which is now one of Reese’s Book Club’s selections.
Keila and Oscar Alvarado have been married for decades but Keila, the family matriarch, shakes things up when she suddenly announces that she is divorcing her husband. Her adult children all ask that they give their marriage one more year. This book takes place over the course of that year. Each of the members of the family undergoes major life changes, all against the backdrop of the California weather that shapes all of their lives.
The author is at her very best when describing the ethereal beauty of California. I could almost feel the wind blowing and the sun on my face: “Olivia walked to the edge of the terrace, leaned on the handrail, and looked out at the Pacific Ocean in front of her. Its undulating surface shimmered in bright oranges and reds, sequins in a drag queen’s gown. This was a light—a hyperreal, Technicolor light—that existed only on celluloid and in Los Angeles.”
A lot happens to the Alvarado family, but there is so much drama that there didn’t feel like there was much consequence to the events of their lives. I did keep turning the pages , however, to find out what would happen next! I certainly could not have predicted the outcome.
Although Keila comes from a Jewish family who fled the Holocaust to Mexico, I felt like Judaism was sort of thrown into the story without much real connection to the religion: “I know exactly where Dad is. You don’t need to come here and ruin my dinner with your Jewish guilt,” she said.” Ouch!
But overall, this is a loving, broad, funny family saga that takes a warm look at families and the bonds that bind us all together.
(Thanks to the publisher for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.)