284 pp. | paper | $14.00
by Alma Luz Villanueva
Luna's California Poppies a young girl tries to come to terms
with an unstable family situation and a harsh environment. Taking
the form of a diary, the novel is exceptional in the way it so vividly
captures a street-wise twelve-year-old's voice. Luna is angry, despairing,
joyful, aggressive, and admirable. Deserted by her mother, she is
taken into the home of a kind stranger, who not only takes care
of her physical needs for food, shelter, and security, but also
encourages her to read, write, and study. In this new environment
Luna records her struggles and triumphs as she becomes a young woman.
In the second half of the book, an adult Luna takes up the diary
when she and her family move to the country and face a new set of
challenges. A mother now, Luna muses on her past while she and her
children face an unexpected obstacle in their new homebigotry.
Luz Villanueva is the author of the award-winning novels The
Ultraviolet Sky (1989 American Book Award, Before Columbus
Foundation) and Naked Ladies
(1994 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award), both published by Bilingual
Press. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches in the MFA
program at Antioch University in Los Angeles.