I usually do not talk about books that I cannot finish, but in this case, I feel obligated to post something.
I received The Guardians by Ana Castillo as an ARC via LibraryThing. Maybe someday when I’m feeling particularly masochistic I’ll finish it, but here’s what I mentioned about it on that site:
Told from varying points of view, this novel chronicles the lives and struggles of immigrants along the Mexican border. I found myself slogging through the narrative, caring little about the characters or what seemed to be the plot. And since I know little Spanish, the code switching literary technique leaves quite a bit to be desired in the understanding department. It’s at once dreamy and jarring–the first person accounts dwelling, perhaps, a bit too long and unnecessarily on inner landscapes.
Even though I’m an immigrant myself, I found it difficult to care about the book (although one could point out that entering the States from Canada is totally not the same thing). So life on the border is short, violent, and unhappy. There are always people desperate to escape their dismal lives and bad things happen all the time. However, I’m not even sure I even got anything educational out of this let alone entertaining. But then again, “literary” fiction isn’t exactly my genre. I don’t find that getting depressed after reading something is particularly enlightening.