As the Sun Rises
By Nathan Smith
Genre: Magical Realism, historical fiction, literary fiction
A dying man pulls himself across the Sahara Desert. His only company is a talking macaw. And his only reason to continue is love. Somewhere across the desert is the girl who is worth everything to him.
Flash back to the man’s childhood. He and his parents live in Guatemala City during the 1980s: a dark era for Guatemala. People talk of a communist rebellion in the jungle and the whispers have reached the United States. A communist rebellion so close to home wasn’t going to be allowed during the Cold War, so the U.S. gave the Guatemalan government everything needed to destroy the rebels. With this new found power, the Guatemalan government enacts a genocide of the Mayan people to smoke out the rebels living in the jungle.
Events force the boy and his mother to return to their ancestral home, a Mayan village deep in the jungle where rebels hide. During this time, the boy grows into a young man and falls in love with a girl whom he would cross deserts for, but then genocides find their village.
He and the girl are the only two survivors. Homeless and desperate to take care of the girl, he unknowingly sells himself into slavery on the other side of the world, but the relentless love he has for the girl refuses to let him die a slave.
I am blown away by how much emotion the author was able to stuff in these pages. While this was a quick read, the content is so heavy that it will stay with you long after you close the book. We meet a young boy, José, who is living in a country where the common person is stuck in between the fighting rebels and the government. Many people are being slaughtered. José attempts to better his life for himself and the young woman he has given his heart to. Things to turn for the worst and José is battling to survive. It's amazing how far love will carry him.
Nathan started writing back in high school when a friend convinced him to write a zombie survival story. From that moment he was hooked. He moved on from the zombie genre and became fascinated with Latin American literature and authors like Paulo Coelho and poets like Pablo Neruda. Their literary style was his first major influence. His second was his faith. When he was seventeen, Nathan encountered Jesus in an unfinished church in Brazil. Since then, Nathan has sought to serve Jesus in his writing and his vocation. Nathan and his wife Jessica live in North Carolina with their dog Riah.
On Twitter: @nathanswriting
On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1ZTxQmk