Rick Rivera’s first novel charts the sometimes hilarious, sometimes bitter-sweet saga of growing up in two cultures with the American Dream as a guiding light. In a series of poignant vignettes, the reader follows Ricky Coronado’s search for identity—a search made more difficult by the specter of his father’s suicide and the pressures placed upon him by his strong-willed mother.
The narrator is a quiet but mischievous boy who retells the antics of his close-knit and often eccentric family. The amusing adventures of the clan include his stepfather’s proposal to his mother, visits to the psychiatrist and the comic misconstruction of Catholic catechism by well-meaning nuns.
In his journey of self-discovery that harkens to the pioneer work of Oscar Zeta Acosta’s Brown Buffalo adventures, Ricky comes to the same solution that generations of hyphenated Americans have reached: the painful but rewarding creation of a new self that combines elements of both ethnic realities.