The Wanderings of Chela Coatlicue, Touring Califaztlán
By Ananda Esteva
Full of action and peril, magic and passion, The Wanderings of Chela Coatlicue is a New Adult novel about a brazen musical prodigy who goes on an odyssey from the punk rock slums of Mexico City to suburban Los Angeles.
While it is a fast-moving adventure, it is also a vehicle to explore the chronicles of people crossing the border, while revealing clashes between varying ethnicities, sexualities, and loves for music within the multicultural umbrella we call Mexico.
Chela Alvarez is a twenty-one-year-old Latina whose life is uprooted from the innocent act of perusing used bass ads on Craig’s List. With only a guitar on her back, she and her punk rock bandmates journey across Mexico to L.A. dodging narcotraficantes, bribe-seeking military men, white collar perverts, and other colorful characters along the way.
Chela’s quest: to reclaim her beloved grandmother’s bass that she believes was commissioned by her grandmother’s secret lover, famed jazz musician Sugar Rivera. Ever since she was nine years old, the unsettled blame for her grandmother’s mysterious death haunted her, propelling her to seek her grandmother’s most precious object, her talisman: a ¾ bass by the name of “The Perfumed Lady.”
This crossover novel will appeal to both older teens and adults. Written in “Choose Your Own Adventure” ™ style, grown-up readers can once again enjoy a popular format from their youth. Both the themes of the book and the format play with the ideas of destiny vs. choice. The reader is making choices, but the choices are limited to what has already been written. This contrast encourages the reader to consider their own beliefs, choices, and passions while in the process of discovering Chela’s.
Transgress Press / www.TransgressPress.org / February 2018
PB ISBN 978-0-9982521-2-4 / 6 x 9 / 176 pages / $16.99 / E-book $9.99
New Adult / Multicultural / LGBT
Latina / Girl Hero Adventure / Punk Rock / Border Crossing.