Wednesday, December 27, 2017

'ROUND MIDNIGHT by Laura McBride


Although this one may not be as captivating as We Are Called to Rise, Laura McBride has brought us another heartfelt story, this time about four women, all of whom live in Las Vegas.  June and her husband Del own the El Capitan casino in the 1950s, but when June finds herself pregnant with her second child, she fears that the father may be their headline singer, Eddie Knox.  A decade or so later, a beautiful woman named Honorata from the Philippines hits a big jackpot at the El Capitan and escapes an unpleasant arranged marriage that never actually took place.  Engracia is an undocumented Mexican maid who finds herself in the middle of a potentially violent domestic situation.  Finally, there’s Coral, whose parentage is a mystery to her.   I would say that June and Coral are searching, while Engracia and Honorata are, to some degree, hiding.  They all eventually cross paths, making unexpected connections.  All four women become mothers at some point, and Coral is the only one not harboring a secret with regard to her children.  My only complaint is that, although I enjoyed reading all of their stories, I never became fully invested in any of these characters.  I liked them, admired them for their principles and courage, and rooted for them, but I don’t feel that I ever really completely connected with them.  In each case, I couldn’t really relate to the difficult and sometimes devastating life experiences that they endured, but I was definitely proud of them.

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