Currently Reading: Barefoot Dogs

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I finished The Martian at lunch today (review coming soon but I thought it was excellent) and started Barefoot Dogs: Stories by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho after work.

'Barefoot Dogs: Stories' cover art

I received Barefoot Dogs from Book People’s Trust Fall #3. It sounded like a really unique book, written from a perspective I haven’t read much.

Here’s the synopsis (from Goodreads):

An unforgettable debut of linked stories that follow the members and retinue of a wealthy Mexican family forced into exile after the patriarch is kidnapped.

On an unremarkable night, José Victoriano Arteaga—the head of a thriving Mexico City family—vanishes on his way home from work. The Arteagas find few answers; the full truth of what happened to Arteaga is lost to the shadows of Mexico’s vast and desperate underworld, a place of rampant violence and kidnappings, and government corruption. But soon packages arrive to the family house, offering horrifying clues.

Fear, guilt, and the prospect of financial ruination fracture the once-proud family and scatter them across the globe, yet delicate threads still hold them together: in a swimming pool in Palo Alto, Arteaga’s young grandson struggles to make sense of the grief that has hobbled his family; in Mexico City, Arteaga’s mistress alternates between rage and heartbreak as she waits, in growing panic, for her lover’s return; in Austin, the Arteagas’ housekeeper tries to piece together a second life in an alienating and demeaning new land; in Madrid, Arteaga’s son takes his ailing dog through the hot and unforgiving streets, in search of his father’s ghost.

Multiple award-winning author Antonio Ruiz-Camacho offers an exquisite and intimate evocation of the loneliness, love, hope, and fear that can bind a family even as unspeakable violence tears it apart. “A straight-on jab to the soul” (Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), ‘Barefoot Dogs’ is a heartfelt elegy to the stolen innocence of every family struck by tragedy. This is urgent and vital fiction.

I’m already into the second short story, ‘Okie’, and am enjoying things so far. It’s a small book, just a little over 100 pages, so I don’t think it’ll take me long to get through.

Have you read Barefoot Dogs?

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