The Weight of All Things

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9780786863990: The Weight of All Things

The last time Nicols saw his mother, she was mortally wounded by gunfire that erupted in a crowded plaza. Watching while her body is dragged away with other victims, Nicols believes that his mother is still alive and vows to find her again. Thus begins the young boys harrowing journey through his war-ravaged country.

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About the Author:

Sandra Benítez was born in Washington, D.C. and spent her childhood and early adulthood in Mexico and El Salvador. She then moved to the United States and received an undergraduate from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman University). She published her first novel, A Place Where the Sea Remembers, when she was 52. It won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the Los Angles Times First Fiction Award.

From Publishers Weekly:

Set in El Salvador during the civil war of the 1980s, Ben!tez's third novel (after A Place Where the Sea Remembers and Bitter Grounds) seamlessly blends fact with imagination, evoking the trauma of war more vividly than any newspaper account. Nine-year-old Nicol s de la Virgen Veras lives with his grandfather Tata in Chalatenango, El Salvador, but on March 30, 1980, his mother, Lety, who works in San Salvador for Don Enrique, brings him to the city to witness the burial of a martyred saint, Archbishop Romero. In a bloodbath based on a real-life event, 35 people in the crowd of 80,000 are killed and 450 wounded by soldiers' fire. Lety dies protecting Nicol s. When her body is taken away, Nicol s cannot believe she is dead and tries first to find the hospital for the wounded, then to get home to find Don Enrique's address. As he journeys through the bleak Salvadoran landscape, Nicol s is caught in the violent clashes between the National Army and guerrilla rebels. Held at different times by each faction, Nicol s must rely on his wits and faith in the Virgin Mary if he is to survive. Ben!tez's novel is both political and spiritual, beautifully illuminating the effects of war on the innocent. Like the Sumpul River of Nicol s's hometown, which alternately rages and soothes, Ben!tez's style is both quiet and intense. Her achievement here is considerable; in this brief narrative, she gives voice to the silenced. Those who seek a deeper understanding of Latin American conflict and who appreciate Ben!tez's moral stance will find the novel especially gratifying. 6-city author tour. (Feb.) Things to Rosie O'Donnell's For All Kids Foundation.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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