Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Book Review: Finding Sagrado

Roger E Carrier

Bookshelves: Coming of Age, Teenage, Drama, Slice of Life, Adventure


A Teenage Odyssey for Adults and Mature Teenage Readers Roger E. Carrier tells an engaging story of youth, redemption, and sexual coming of age in New Mexico. In 1971, seventeen-year-old Shane Russell makes a well-planned escape from a Michigan winter and sets off on a 2,000-mile adventure in search of a town that exists only between the covers of Richard Bradford’s famous New Mexico novel Red Sky at Morning (J.B. Lippincott, 1968). Driven to recreate the nude scenes and vivid characters in Bradford’s fictional town of Sagrado, Shane forever touches the lives of his widowed landlady, the detective hired to find him, and his new friends at a colorful high school deep in the Land of Enchantment. Against the backdrop of his father’s death in Vietnam and life with his stepmother’s new boyfriend, Shane flees the painful realities of his life. In doing so, he finds a place where bats fly and love heals the wounds of the human spirit. He also encounters Mark Twain’s great truth: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

My Verdict

"Finding Sagrado" is a fantastic read! Shane, the protagonist wishes to find his personal Sagrado, a fictional town from his favourite book. And find he does, along with some really nice friends and mentors, similar to the characters from his beloved novel but different in so many aspects and a lot better, because they belong in his life. I appreciated the optimistic tone of the book, the adventure started a bit slowly but once it got going I was all in. Roger Carrier is a great storyteller and he has penned some excellent characters, I particularly liked Birdie and Professor Sam Ford [his appearance in the book is brief, yet thought provoking] Ellen was another favourite, she was spontaneous and bubbly, with a dash of outrageous, all nicely packaged.

The story is about Shane's life and his quest for happiness, really. This young man is a dreamer for sure, but he's a dreamer with guts. It's not easy venturing off like that and living out one's fantasy. As a teenager, there were so many books and movies that I read or watched and wished I could live and breathe them. But that's about all I did, dream it. So naturally I cheered him on his adventure and I liked the fact that he met nice people along the way, who imparted their knowledge and wisdom to him, it just felt right, like the universe wanted him to get on his life and find his haven. As the story progresses, we see Shane form new relationships, learn a lot of important life lessons, start valuing relationships that he took for granted before and begin on his path to maturity. In many ways, he also changes the lives of others around him, releasing them from their own demons too.

I would actually like reading more of Shane and his gang of friends. Finding Sagrado had just the right amount of emotion, adventure and fun. I'd recommend it to everyone! 

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