Caldera takes the reader on an adventurous journey into the heart 0f Mexico where ancient mysteries and modern politics collide.
In a compelling story of mystery, personal discovery, and adventure, Kate McKenzie travels to meet her husband at an archeological dig in Chiapas, Mexico, along with two graduate students bringing and old Land Rover to the site. The action takes place in the early 1980's and plays against the turbulent life of the times with oil shortages, Iranian hostages and the after effects of the Vietnam war. Personal change, discovery and the rights of indigenous people are all themes in the novel as Kate finds herself in a place where certainties are thrown into question and the fate of her marriage becomes linked with native Mayan peoples inhabiting an ancient land.
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Aug 6, 2012
"Everyone has the right to risk," says Kate in this beautifully-crafted novel about the "stew" created when people from a variety of cultures and belief systems are thrown into the same caldera--cooking pot--in one of Mexico's hot and humid jungles. The characters are well drawn; each one can be immediately identified by their stylistic language and emotional differences. Although initially the book may be seen as a chronicle of Kate's journey through a feminist transformation, it is much more a human transformation through time, space, and soul, and several other characters--Dan, the husband; Neil, the lover; Jocinta, the Guatemalan boy who enters the journey along the way--each have a reckoning with his own expectations for life. Set against an archaeological dig where old bones, artifacts, and spiritual understandings come into conflict with twentieth century ideas of science and exploration, the reader will face his/her own questions about what in their own... More > nature needs to be held sacred when faced with new technologies which can run roughshod over human values.< Less
Here’s a great story with much to think about. Among the contemporary issues is the question of which is more important to a marriage - work or family. The answer is of course both; the dilemma is how to find a balance that works before the marriage becomes no more than a caldera, the empty bowl of an extinct volcano. King’s painterly hand with the Mexican landscape - gorgeously rendered sky and mountains, sere deserts - puts us in a setting as hot as the passions of her characters and as cool as their plunge into a mountain pool. Read it!
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