page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134
page 135
page 136
page 137
page 138
page 139
page 140
page 141
page 142
page 143
page 144
page 145
page 146
page 147
page 148
page 149
page 150
page 151
page 152
page 153
page 154
page 155
page 156
page 157

I was planning on writing an article with summer reading suggestions for this issue of The Marco Review. It's what I usually do at this time of year, knowing that this issue will be out on newsstands and in condos for the summer visitors. Then I got an advanced reader copy of The Iguana Tree by Michel Stone. The cover appealed to me and I read the short blurb on the back and it sounded interesting. The "quick-quotes" kind of piqued my interest... Library Journal said "Re-calls the work of John Steinbeck"...Kirkus said "Exceptional... A haunt-ing tale of hope and heartbreak." Hmmm, maybe it's worth a look.Long story short, I LOVED this book. I read a lot and enjoy most of the books I read for one reason or another. But every once in a while, there is a book that picks me up and wraps itself around my head until I just can't put it down. The characters become my dearest friends and I just can't wait to find out what is going to happen and how their story is going to end. The Iguana Tree by Michel Stone is just such a book. My new best friends, Hector and Lilia, want nothing more than to be together and to have a better life. Lilia is reluctant to leave Puerto Isadore, Mexico, the home of her ancestors and a place of fragrant blossoms and tangy ocean air. To her husband, Hector, the village is a prison keeping them and their infant daughter from achieving their dreams, so he makes the terrifying journey across the border into the United States. While Hector makes a new life in South Carolina and begins to save money to bring Lilia and their daughter across the border, Lilia's world unravels. The ties binding her to Puerto Isadore are cut one by one, and she can think only of joining her husband. When an old friend offers to help, Lilia jumps at the chance to cross the border as well. Amid the sorrow and suffering that both Hector and Lilia encounter, there are moments of joy and won-der at their newly found world, and Hector's attempts at learning English at his new job are hysterical.This book puts faces on the controversial issue of illegal immigration, and whatever your opinions are or what you think they are on this matter, one cannot help but empathize with the plight of these two courageous, funny and heartwarming people. Stone turns a highly politicized subject into a deeply human predicament... to create a hard-to-forget story of the devastation brought about by a simple wish to improve one's lot in life.This is Michel Stone's first novel, although she has written more than a dozen stories and essays in journals, magazines and books. I think she's an incredible writer and I'm a fan for life. So here's my summer reading suggestion-read The Iguana Tree by Michel Stone. When you're done, stop in at Sunshine Booksellers and let us know how you liked it. We'll probably have something new to recommend by then. Happy reading!If you're a regular reader of The Marco Review you may remember that in her last Sunshine Book Review Joan mentioned that Wall Street Journal Columnist and author Jeffrey Zaslow was due to make a return visit to Marco in March. Sadly, this was not to be as Mr Zaslow was killed in a car crash while returning home from a booksigning near his home in Michigan on a snowy night in early February. Those of us who knew his work, and were lucky enough to hear him talk at a booksigning at Sunshine Booksellers in November 2010, know what a great loss his early death was, not only to his family and friends, but to all those of us who love to curl up with a good book. 60

61