T.M. Spooner. The Salvation of La Purísima. ISBN: 978-1519675248. $19.95.
The Salvation of La Purisima is a profound and heartrending look at a disenfranchised and poverty-ridden society that, driven by the necessity of its own survival, culturally pressures its members to make a perilous migration and earn money whether they want to go or not. Highly recommended. - Midwest Book Review
Perhaps the biggest achievement of the story are real characters that you quickly learn to like and care about. Consequently, there's a more human face put on the current phenomenon of "illegal immigration." These people are not simply numbers and statistics but, rather, living, breathing human beings. I look forward to seeing more from Señor Spooner. - Alan Cogan (Mexico Connect)
Spooner has a keen eye and ear for Mexico, without glamorizing or admonishing the country or its people. His many years of Mexico travel to the less touristy destinations produce a work of unvarnished authenticity. - David Simmonds (MexicoFile)
T.M. Spooner's first novel, The Salvation of La Purísima, explores the forces driving Mexican migrants north and the resulting impact on the communities and families left behind. The journey north is no longer just an economic necessity, but has evolved into a rite of passage for so many of Mexico's rural youth. A migrant he befriends draws the novel's narrator, anthropologist Paul Westin, to Mexico. As Westin becomes more involved with the migrants and learns of a tragedy among them, he struggles to maintain professional objectivity. In Mexico he encounters La Purísima, the fractured village and symbol of rural Mexico, desperately struggling with the mysterious death of one of its own young men. The strange and unexpected reactions of the villagers force Westin and a local priest, Father Gabriel, to search for a solution to save La Purísima.
The Salvation of La Purísima is compellingly told and written - with tender regard for its characters. The novel leaves the reader with a richer appreciation for the migrants, the human condition, and a sense that something profound has been experienced.
About the author T. M. Spooner is a frequent visitor to Mexico where he has traveled extensively. Many of his summers are spent in Guadalajara where much of this novel was written. Spooner is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and attended graduate school at DePaul University in Chicago. His next novel deals with a group British and American expatriates living in the Lake Chapala region of Mexico. Link to author website: http://www.tmspooner.com/ He lives near Chicago with his wife and two daughters. T.M. Spooner can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes From Exile. By T.M. Spooner. 978-0-915745-89-0 $24.95
Rich in language and imagery, Notes from Exile is a skillfully crafted novel. A blend of humor and drama thread this tale, concluding in what can best be described as a haunting modern tragedy. Struggles both large and small remind us of human frailties and how in the final analysis, we go it alone. For its wit and passion, this novel should not be missed! Mexico has long been a land of enchantment and mystery, a place where more than one foreigner has sought refuge, fleeing real or imagined demons. In a quaint village along the shores of Lake Chapala, two recent college graduates join two men living in self-imposed exile. One, a journalist and jaded philosopher is escaping an inherited family destiny; the other, aBritish combat veteran is fleeing what many viewed an unnecessary war. Notes from Exile is a venerable creation, containing humor, love, and sorrow - each in their own time and measure, all ingredients for a story of escape and hope. Through the novel we learn, often harshly, how each one of us is responsible for defining our destiny. The dilemma is that while some will succeed, others will tragically fail.