Courageous Survival, April 17, 2008
Theresa M. Studer "Terra57" (Hopedale, MA USA) - See all my reviews "Reviewed for Front Street Reviews" The Road from La Cueva by Sheila Ortego is such a wonderful read. It was short, far from sweet and to the point without all the added fluff and filler you will find in most books. This book could pertain to any number of women around the world in trouble. Ana Howland is an almost to perfect woman for a fiction novel. She's a wife, mother, friend, daughter and lover. Lacking self esteem, being depressed, feeling trapped and scared to death keeps her in a marriage of hardship. The story is a journey through a year of Ana's life and of the changes that come from a welcoming hand out of the blue. Each day, week, month offer up steps forward and steps backward while Ana tries so hard to find the tiniest morsel of courage to make the right decisions for her and her daughter. Ana is in an abusive controlling marriage with the constant threat of danger at every turn she makes. What she thought would be a life long loving relationship has been anything but. The only kindness her husband does show is to their young daughter and she wonders how much of that is true. A stranger comes along and offers her salvation but at what cost. A neighbor becomes friends with her on such a deep level that Ana's husband is jealous and forbids her to stay friends with this person. Both of these people help Ana see that life is not always what you're handed and you can change the outcome. All you need to do is ask for help but does she have the courage and will she escape unscathed. The author of this book deserves the best of reviews for this touching, heart melting story that could be of any one of our lives. The novel seems too real to be a work of fiction and I wonder how much is fact and how much is truly fiction. I would give this a 5 star rating because it captured me, educated me and let me see that there are true friends and love out there, you only have to reach for them.