E-Reader: See Amazon books for Kindle Version
About the book: Set against the vivid backdrop of a Central American country in turmoil and a desolate Mexican wilderness, THE COST OF DREAMS introduces a masterful new writer of fiction. Gary Stelzer, a retired Midwest physician, draws upon an ordeal of one of his most memorable patients for a novel that's both a powerful, compelling page-turner and a poignant illumination of a woman's-and a people's-struggle to survive.
"Years ago," recalls Stelzer, "a foreign-born woman appeared at the ER of my small city hospital dreadfully injured by her drug-dealing brother-in-law. She had been shot at her family's home in the southwestern U.S. and her husband had driven her and their two small children to this northern Midwest locale. There I cared for her and directed her protracted rehab. Then the husband abandoned them all.
"She drifted away in the years following. But I always recalled how badly I felt for her and her children. Then one day in southwestern New Mexico, I watched as dozens of freight trains passed by and I began asking myself, 'what if...?'"
Thus the indomitable Flora Enriquez came to life.
Flora, a Mayan teenager, has escaped Talapa, her civil war-torn Central American village where her parents have been slain-and where even being seen in native wear could result in summary execution. Following her dream with nearly superhuman determination, she makes her way to San Diego, and against all odds, becomes a wife, mother and teacher. By hard work and shrewdness, she even obtains legal U.S. status.
Her life takes a horrific turn when she's shot by her drug-dealing brother in-law. As she lays unconscious and bleeding in front of her house, Mexican immigrants traveling on a freight train kidnap and claim her as their daughter, caring for her on a long, grueling cross-country flight.
Nearly a year later, still gravely wounded and disfigured, a freed Flora arrives at the Lake Michigan home of Kate Bowman, an American aide worker who had previously befriended Flora in Talapa. Kate's nephew had vanished on that mission, leaving Kate devastated and overwhelmed with guilt for permitting him to remain in a civil war ravaged Central America while she returned home.
Now Flora, eager to heal her injuries and desperate to restore what remains of her family, reignites in Kate a fire to learn the fate of her long lost nephew. The two women embark on a harrowing journey that takes them to the ancient caves of northwestern Mexico in the Barrancas del Cobre, an exceedingly vast abyss of canyons, in search of a storied Indian healer. The cost of healing borders on the unendurable.
With breathtaking suspense, pulse-pounding action and authentic Indian culture, THE COST OF DREAMS is peopled by fully realized characters facing overwhelming obstacles and moral dilemmas. In short, it's a riveting and believable first-rate thriller.
I don't like the idea of illegal immigrants, but I know almost all of them are here just trying to make a living to survive. This was the story of one of those immigrants and all that she had to endure to make her way to American and what she went through to survive once here. I do believe her story is very extreme even if the basic idea came from a real person. I doubt anyone could have lived through what Flora and others did in this book but it did make a gripping story. I felt the author rushed through the ending and then tied things up a little too neatly. but I thoroughly enjoyed the journey that the book led me on.
I was provided this book to read and review by Dr. Stelzer and Carol Fass Publicity and PR.