Blood Fugues: A Novel

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9780060742775: Blood Fugues: A Novel

When Kenny Romero, a promising high school athlete, journeys from New York City to his summer job at the Brunet dairy farm in upstate New York, he makes choices that bring him in direct confrontation with nature and challenge his more primitive instincts for survival. His fateful decision triggers a crisis with harrowing consequences for his already troubled family.

Against the background of his ordeal, each character reveals a part of his or her own struggle. During the course of the summer, as Kenny and his girlfriend, Claudia, deepen their relationship, Kenny's mother, Fran, struggles with an agonizing choice. His father, Tommy Romero, reveals why, years prior, he chose to act as he did after he had been drawn into illegal activities by Kenny's uncle, Jerry Boyle, and both were dismissed from the police force. Jerry, meanwhile, learns the true identity of Gabriel Brunet, owner of the farm. At the core of the tale is the distant secret harbored by Kenny's maternal grandmother, Mary Boyle.

A vivid, gripping tale of action and mystery, Blood Fugues explores the ways in which family ties and secrets spin their way into our present lives, shaping our desires, our fears, and our futures.

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About the Author:

Edgardo Vega-Yunqué is the author of the critically acclaimed novel No Matter How Much You Promise. . . . His stories have been adapted for the stage and anthologized internationally. He was born in Puerto Rico and lived in Brooklyn, New York until his death in 2008.

From Publishers Weekly:

When star high school athlete Kenny Romero treks from 1980s upper Manhattan to his summer job at a dairy farm in upstate New York, he leaves behind a family plagued with secrets. Yunqué's (No Matter How Much You Promise...) nicely turned fourth novel puts the Catholic, Irish– Puerto Rican Kenny in the fields: tending cows, taking in the landscape and frolicking with blonde Lutheran girlfriend Claudia. Meanwhile, Kenny's father and maternal uncle, crooked cops, get into deep trouble; his mother (née Boyle) contemplates a painful decision; and his maternal grandmother clutches the keys to the family history (and has some skeletons of her own). When a pregnant cow trails off into the woods one night and Kenny embarks on a dangerous search, a family already fraying at the seams unravels. Yunqué writes with grace, vividly evoking second-generation New York City Irish and Puerto Rican–American life, contrasting its tight-knit urban world with the bucolic calm of the country. Although the final chapter abruptly delivers a too-neat conclusion, Yunqué concentrates on the intertwined Boyle-Romero relationships (where the men call one another Boylgado or O'Romer) fruitfully, and the whole coalesces into a moving family portrait. (Oct.)
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