Composed in beautiful, sensual, and lyrical language, Tunnel Kids by Werner J. Egli is an engaging story of Santiago Molina, a fifteen-year-old boy who leaves his small village near San Cristobal de las Casas and travels to Mexico City to start a new life. But his journey doesn’t end in Mexico City because Mexico is just another stop that propels him further toward the United States.
The story starts with a powerful, disquieting memory and reminiscences from the narrator’s childhood, including the inciting incident of Sta Claus whom the author describes as a gringo and his attempt to touch his elder sister improperly. The narrative moves on pretty fast and different conflicts are introduced. The author’s father is killed. His sister runs off and, unable to live in peace with his mother, he runs off to start a new life abroad. But as soon as he reaches Mexico City, things go awry for him. He is beaten by a gang and the police and arrested for robbery, but a kind man of justice takes him to his opulent home. The protagonist is fueled by a sense of revenge and goes after the police officer who abused him. But he finds himself in a place where there is no life, the floodwater tunnel of Nogales, where many children live and where he falls in love and loses the love of his life to the cold hands of the flood. To survive, he will have to travel to the end of the tunnel.
Tunnel Kids is a wonderful story, told in a powerful, clear, and exciting voice. The story is told in first-person narrative, and the author seems to have a unique mastery of this narrative style. The beautiful prose is enticing, featuring very powerful descriptions that capture the setting and the culture in vivid detail and clarity. I enjoyed the emotional insights and the psychological depth of the story as well as the internal conflict. The protagonist is a character who readers will love. It is also interesting to notice how the themes of love, family, death, crime, and adventure are seamlessly woven into the story. It’s a page-turner, an exciting and delightful read.
|Author||Werner J. Egli|
|Page Count||206 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|