A Heartfelt Gift, October 27, 2008
Eric Wilson "novelist" (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews I had the pleasure of meeting Sheila Ortego at a book festival in Nashville. She was unassuming, pretty in an unpretentious way, and there were stories of beauty and pain lurking behind her eyes. Within minutes, we discovered that we were fellow writers and decided to swap books. The pleasure was all mine. "The Road to La Cueva" is a wonderfully wrought tale of New Mexico's landscape and people, and yet it's also a microcosm of many who have lost and loved and tried to adjust to the changes of modern society. The story centers around Ana, a stoic wife who must endure her husband's carelessness and controlling ways. As she negotiates the treacherous mud and ruts of her rural road, we see her own inner turmoil with life and relationships. Along the way, she meets a male nurse with a tender soul, and a rugged Mescalero Apache woman who has scars of her own to bear and wisdom to impart...I think this storyline reflects a very real and desperate need many had to be free of a long-time, male-dominated society. In conclusion, we find Ana growing as a person, as a mother, and as a friend. She learns how to love by giving and serving, and this becomes her true ticket to a new existence. Ortego has offered a heartfelt gift to many who have felt this disconnection and loneliness, and she does so with poetic grace.