Title: The Lucky Ones
Author: Julianne Pachico
Page Count/Review Word Count: 264
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for free to review as part of my position on the Young Writer of the Year Award shadow panel. Click here to find out more about that.
This is the first of the five books that I’ve read so far from the Young Writer of the Year Award shortlist, and it sets a strong precedent that it’s going to be tricky for the others to live up to. What we have here is a collection of short stories that span several decades and take place in Latin America, and it’s interesting because it’s kind of interconnected and kind of not, with a few running themes like coca leaves that tie them all together.
Pachico’s writing is stunning, and just the way she strings sentences together was a joy to behold. Flicking in at random, I get: “They cast their bluish-white searchlights over the campsite, slowly illuminating one item at a time; the wooden picnic table, the hammocks, the tin cups, the black rubber boots with yellow bottoms, the packets of Frruitino strawberry juice powder, the Saltine cracker wrappers, the enormous blocks of unrefined panela sugar in plastic bags.” There’s just something about her writing style that I loved.
Overall, it was fun and ethereal, and I’ve since compared it to watching someone else’s dreams and said it reminded me in some vague way of William Burroughs. It’s most definitely a tough act to follow.