A Good Long Way by Rene Saldana, Jr.
This novel explores one day in the life of three teens. Beto Jr. is high school senior who is challenging the house rules set by his father, Roelito is the younger brother who must witness is brother and father argue on a regular basis. After another missed curfew the arguing turns physical for the first time. Roelito can only watch has their father kick his older brother out. Beto heads to the house of his best friend, Jessy. The chapters alternate between the three main characters. Their are straightforward, real and inviting I didn't want their stories to end. The heart of the story revolves around the changing relationship between Beto Sr. and Jr. Of the three my favorite was Jessy there was just something about her story that I loved.
"She decided she'd find her way back to her house. That's how she thought of it now, a house, nothing home about it, four walls of her room inside another four walls. Not even her mom helped out except to say, "Storm's coming. Lock yourself in." Well, she was done with locking herself in. She had to reenvision that whole business. Call it by another name."
However unlike myself the author doesn't play favorites. All the characters get the same amount of face time. Saladana manages to explore complex relationships in just over 100 pages (105). A Good Long Way reads like three intertwined novellas, the text has a lyrical quality to it. This is a novel in which the full goodness of it can sneak up on you.
Read an excerpt