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The Red Road: A Novel by Jenni Wiltz
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The Red Road: A Novel

by Jenni Wiltz

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Emma is a smart young woman who longs to go to college to escape her gang riddled neighborhood but the economics of her family situation is making that dream slip away. Her father had been unemployed but now has found work as a census taker but it’s in the worst part of town, East Malo Verde. Anyone who looks “official” is greeted with suspicion at best and generally with much worse. He needs the job so he puts on his suit tries to do what he was hired to do.

One visit leads to the worst happening – a gang member mistakes him for a police officer and beats him to within an inch of his life. This obviously upends the whole family but seems to impact Emma in ways that prove to be dangerous. She loses all interest in school and despite what her mother, her best friend and even the detective trying to solve the case tells her she can only seem to focus on getting back at the person who did this to her family.

This was most assuredly a departure from what I usually read but it intrigued me and I was very glad that I did read it. That’s not to say it was an easy read. Obviously this book deals with some dark and heavy topics. Emma is a very well drawn character and no child should have to deal with issues like the ones this character had to face. I do not know if the desire for revenge runs this deeply in children of this age – that struck me as odd – but having no personal knowledge of such situations I just went with the story. It deals well with issues of family dynamics, friendship, love and despair. It was a book that stayed with me long after I turned the last page. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Jan 26, 2015 |
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