Jean's Reviews > The Barbarian Nurseries

The Barbarian Nurseries by Héctor Tobar
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's review
Dec 23, 2011

it was amazing

I heard about this book on NPR and lucked out when it was on the new book shelf at Gordon Cooper. I couldn't put this book down. A wealthy southern California family falls on tough financial times and has to let the gardener and nanny go. The housekeeper/cook takes on more responsibility and finds herself the sole provider for two of the children after the parents fight, each taking flight thinking the other has charge of the household. Although the pretext sounds simple and trite, the story is beautifully written and illustrates the varying differences in perspectives regarding motherhood, immigration, the media and the judicial system. Unlike The Tortilla Curtain, this story has a satisfying outcome, yet the commentary on deeper issues in America are similar and just as thought-provoking. I particularly appreciated the characterization of the older son as a voracious reader and his ability to weave his knowledge of fiction into his life.

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