A Crooked Path
By Leigh
Oct 8, 2007 - 12:24:27 PM

When his father abandons them without explanation, Manny and his family are devastated, and he is left to be the man of the family.   Times are hard and the family struggles with poverty and hunger until Manny is able to find work to support his mother and younger siblings.   At fifteen, he makes his way across the Mexican border to Texas in search of work and the kind of wages that will allow him to provide for his family in the manner he wishes for them.   He works in many areas – construction, ranches, restaurants and factories – always sending the bulk of his pay back home to his family.  

Now, he is a man of thirty-nine; Manny works on Owen Green’s cattle ranch.   Originally hired as seasonal help to work alongside Owen, Manny has become a full-time hand as Owen’s Parkinson’s disease progresses.   While Manny enjoys the work, he finds it harder to enjoy Owen - a man whose opinions are loud, judgmental and racially biased.   Thankfully, Owen’s difficult nature is counteracted by his warm and nurturing sister, Karen, who recognizes and acknowledges Manny’s value as a person, employee and friend.


When circumstances lead Manny into the role of Owen’s caregiver, Manny is surprised to develop a tenuous friendship with Owen – one that is reminiscent of that of a father and son.   The absence of his father has always been a shadow over Manny’s life; and while the relationship with Owen is far from perfect, it is something he hasn’t had for decades.   But, the arrival of Owen’s estranged daughter, Chaney, changes everything - forcing the ugliness of Owen’s bias into the light and causing what could be irreparable damage to their lives.


A CROOKED PATH is the second book in Annette Smith’s engaging Eden Plain series.   This is an enjoyable and thought provoking novel told in first person by Manny - a character whose honor, integrity and faith drive the story.   Manny’s view of his life is told in a simple and straightforward manner; it pulls the readers into his world and will keep them absorbed throughout the book.   Touching and inspirational, this story will leave readers with much to think about in regards to racial bias and immigration issues.

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