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Vivienne leaves behind everything and everyone she knows in South Africa to establish a new life in Canada. Paris was her first choice. However, after the considerable financial stability, she needed to secure a permanent residency in France, she leaned on her Aunt Elsie and Uncle Jim, who live in rural Ontario, as sponsors for her adventure.
Armed with an iron-clad plan on working as a lawyer in the new country, she is met with resistance, complications and regulations at every turn. Then, surprisingly, in an unguarded moment, she meets up with Hudson, a farm boy close to her in age. Against her better judgment, Hudson leaves his then-girlfriend and dates Vivienne.
Ximena, centres on the events that follow the aftermath of the Great Peruvian Earthquake on May 31, 1970. A Huascarán debris avalanche destroyed forty thousand square miles, including the town of Yungay, killing nearly seventy thousand people, causing injuries to fifty thousand, and left approximately eight hundred thousand people homeless.
After a devastating mudslide decimates her village, Ximena's only hope of survival, and reuniting with her family, is the reliance on Mango, a gangster that mugged her a week before.
In this coming-of-age novel, Ximena explores the power of resilience in tragedy, the importance of friendship and acquires the life skills to assimilate death and grief.
Wow! I loved this book. I loved how different and literary it is and how it kept me guessing. I loved how real is it, how I could envision the scenes and choices. I almost never detail out plot in reviews and won't do it here because I love reading books knowing very little about characters/plots/themes. A well written book with an unlikely protagonist who kept me guessing. Highly recommend!
What can I say other than WOW! The read is a romantic yet rollercoaster ride! A page turner through the depths and the highs of immigration. Ace of Cups is a great read for any person who has to relocate, face new challenges, rediscover their own place and reclaim passion in an ever changing world. A must-read in this day and age!
Ximena is endearing, inspiring and a true testament to resiliency. I loved the way the author described the scenery in Peru and made me add the destination to my travel list. It's one of those books that I can read over and over again and find something new to appreciate every time. Highly recommend it!
"Inspiring people to live through extreme circumstances, that's what I want to achieve with my writing."