The Guardians by Ana Castillo, is a promising and highly recommended novel set in times when people were demonized strictly for being brown. It takes place along the borderlands and in New Mexico where it follows a strong independent woman who is on a desperate path to find her lost brother Rafa who she believes has been captured by the coyotes. The story goes into depth during undocumented times when the border was a fearful place where friends and family were frequently disappearing and woman are being raped or stolen for their organs.
It shows her path towards finding her brother ot only for herself but for the sake of other loved ones. Where disfigured souls attempt to put themselves back together and search for love once lost. The story is told from four distinctive perspectives: Regina, who searches for her brother after awaiting his arrival in the United States. Gabo, Rafa’s 16-year-old son who becomes highly interested in gang members which give him a strong sense of belonging. Miguel, Regina’s love interest who seems in search of a confidence boost to approach her.
Then El Abuelo Milton, a difficult and sour viejito who pressures his grandson Miguel into action. Each character givers their own personal incite on the depth of every situation and works collectively together for readers to see the broken vision of humanity. Regina was widowed even before she actually married her fiance, and had just nicely settled into being a teacher’s aide and guardian of Gabo although she knew from now on life would never quite be the same.
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She tries to get her brother to permanently stay with her in the United States but he insists that he will only stay until he has enough money to build him and his family a house for themselves in Mexico. Regina is clearly he heart and soul of the novel, making her voice heard among the others and independently setting out on a search towards redemption. She seems to be skeptical of religious views of the church yet finds herself in a compassionate hold on people who have hurt her the most.
She is secure in her own skin and acts as though she can play any role yet deep inside she needs help just as any other individual would. She commits herself to playing the role of his guardian, both mother and father, yet in reality finds it hard to commit herself to being tough towards Gabo because he has a mind of his own. She is a tough defender of her family and property to ensure that nothing happens that could have been prevented. She struggles to understand Gabo’s way, which applies to any parent trying to make sense of senseless teenagers.
Yet she understands that even in tough times she must hold herself together to keep the closest thing she has to family from falling apart. From her ongoing search for her brother Rafa to her realization that the border treats everyone in a different way. Whether you’re religious views agree or differ. She seems to be a modern heroine along with the help of Miguel and Gabriel to ome upon a coyote’s house in El Paso. It happens to be where the disappeared women have been forced to stay and unfortunately also the place where her brother was killed by the coyotes.
Gabriel, the 16-year-old son of Rafa, Regina’s brother is a hard-headed youth with a mind of his own. Set out to become Christ-like, he dreams of an eventual life in the clergy where his mind set will allow him to preach on others with the same religious view of life. With his strong life values Regina tries to talk him out of his bad choice of friends but soon comes to realize he is only searching for a brush of comfort in which he an call a group his “family” because of the one he lacks. Without Regina and his father he would be homeless and left to conquer the world on his own at such a young ago.
In his desperate attempt to regain the love and care of his father him and his aunt set out on a adventure along with the help of Miguel, Miguel’s father Abuelo Milton and some of his gang banger friends. Him and his aunt Regina develop a strong sense of friendship while working close in the search for his father who they believe have been taken by coyotes just as his mother was seven years ago. They found her body disembellished in he desert where her organs were stolen and her body was mutilated beyond belief.
Throughout the journey Gabo remains with no papers to make him legal the United States, yet the border control has no problems letting him come back and forth between Mexico and America with the help of his friends. In which Gabo eventually faces the troubles that comes along with dealing with the coyotes and the law. That ends with Gabo “Making a pact with the devil”. Regina and Gabo were evidently at the heart of this story in the pursuit to find their Brother/Father. Regina started off as a widowed women who was only left with er brother and nephew.
Where their voyage begins on finding their loved one rafa, the only hope they have left of having a family. Gabo goes through the roughest times on the journey for his father. Gabo faces the realness of the boarder physically and consciously where he is able to go back and forth with ease but emotionally he struggles more then anything. Living in a town so close to the border comes with its difficulties within their own community and the citizens living there and the judgment that is passed around. To only find that people have their own story behind their talk
The guardians is an admirable novel that shows the accurate role of the struggles family’s face everyday of living aside the borderlands. This novel shows the true story of the hardship people face on the daily basis that just over passes citizens even in your own town. Where an independent citizen can overcome her struggles to over pass the fears of life and stand strong to become a admirable member of their community. The novel conveys a unique delivery of a examination of what truly makes up a family, Where we can discover faith through the battle of conflicts emotionally and physically.
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