An ambitious and unforgettable epic novel that spans a hundred years of Guatemala’s tumultuous history as experienced by four American women who are linked by the mysterious disappearance of a little girl
1902: Eight-year-old Evie Crowder watches as her parents work in vain to keep their fledgling wheat farm going. Far from their New York home, the Crowder’s struggle against corrupt government officials and inscrutable natives, both of whom have little time for Americans who think that buying cheap Guatemalan land entitles them to any rights. When her parents mysteriously disappear, Evie’s fate hangs in the balance and her legacy will haunt the Land of Eternal Spring for decades to come.
1954: Dorie, the wife of the American Ambassador, is entangled in an affair that puts her in the center of the multi-national fight for control of Guatemala. With her husband actively involved in the CIA’s covert operation to topple President Jacobo Arbenz, Dorie desperately wants to flee with her lover, Tomás. Tomás’s loyalties, however, are split between Dorie and his employer, United Fruit—the real source of money and power in Guatemala.
1983: Lenore Beasley was called by God to be a missionary in Guatemala. Or, more accurately, she was called by Pat Robertson to join President Ríos Montt’s drive to bring his country to Christ. Lenore and her husband Dan move into a model village with instructions to baptize the droves of resettled Mayans. As Lenore becomes involved with an enigmatic blue-eyed Indian woman, her faith in God and the mission begin to flag, putting her dangerously at odds with the armed militia controlling the village.
1999: Single mom Jean takes her adopted daughter Maya on a Roots Tour of Guatemala, hoping the trip will heal their fractured relationship. Jean wants to ground her teenager in history, but she also wants validation that taking Maya from her homeland was the right thing to do. The trauma Jean thought was in their past, however, confronts them with full force. In the middle of a nation trying to heal after decades of war, Jean also finds her own fraught path to healing.
Kelly Kerney’s novel tells a powerful story that draws on the history of Guatemala and the legacy of American intervention to vividly evoke The Land of Eternal Spring in all its promise and all its devastating failures. This is a place where a volcano erupts and the government sends a band to drown out the sound of destruction; where a government decree reverses the direction of one-way streets; a president decides that Pat Robertson and Jesus will save the country; and where a UN commission is needed to determine the truth. A heartrending and masterfully written look at a country in perpetual turmoil, Hard Red Spring brilliantly reveals how the brutal realities of history play out in the lives of individuals and reveals Guatemala in a manner reminiscent of the groundbreaking memoir I, Rigoberta Menchu.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Kelly Kerney’s first novel, Born Again, was listed among the best debuts of the year by Kirkus Reviews, was a Book Sense Pick, and was recognized by the New York Public Library as one of the best books of 2006. A Virginia Commission for the Arts fellowship recipient, she lives in Richmond, Virginia.
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