Thursday, August 1, 2019


by David Bergen
Harry N. Abrams, 2017. 272 pgs. General Fiction

Iso Perdido is a young Guatemalan woman who works at a fertility clinic, helping rich women "take the waters" of a local lake with the hope of becoming mothers. She is soft-spoken and gentle, fiercely strong, stands up for her convictions, and loves with her whole heart. Many of the visitors to the clinic are American and Iso falls in love with one visitor in particular: Dr. Mann, the American doctor in residence. Although he is married, Iso and Dr. Mann begin an affair. Suddenly, a motorcycle accident causes Dr. Mann to be sent back home to America and leaves a pregnant Iso in a sensitive predicament. After Iso's baby is born, she is kidnapped by the director of the clinic, who sends the baby to America to live with Dr. Mann in exchange for money. Determined to bring her daughter back home, Iso travels without documentation to America and embarks upon the most important adventure of her young life.

I picked this book up from one of our display shelves simply because the cover caught my eye. The woman's piercing stare in the cover photo and the one-word title made me stop and take a few steps back. It isn't the type of book that I usually read, but I'm so glad I gave this one a chance. I found myself rooting for Iso from the very beginning, despite the fact that I didn't agree with her choice to have an affair. She is clear-headed and determined, fiercely protective of her family, and willing to go to any lengths for her child. This novel will break your heart and then put it back together again.


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