The Red Road: A Novel
In The Red Road: A Novel, a teenager in a predominantly Mexican town is forced to thrive among gangs, violence, and poverty. Emma, the main character, tries to make sense of her father’s brutal assault by a Mexican gang and distances herself from Via, Rachel, and her other companions. The author is extremely successful in creating an often dismal mood and sharp imagery, reflecting Emma’s pain and the seeming indifference of her mother and little sister. In dealing with her husband’s gruesome injuries, Emma’s mother chooses to feed her family rather than committing to medical care without health insurance coverage, so Emma fears that her father’s condition may deteriorate and realizes that the stress from his ordeal is causing him to wither inside. Convinced that she is the only one left who will stand up for her family, Emma resorts to violence to avenge her father’s attack and hopes to permanently remove the threat. This leaves readers shocked that the author of The Red Road: A Novel reconstructed Emma’s character into a fearless, reckless, and selfless individual and courageously catapulted the plot into a wall that, in the end, crumbles under a crime of passion.
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