In 1960, in the remote village of San Juanico, Mexico, Luisa and Juan Pedro welcome a son, their first child to survive birth. The Baja Peninsula where they live is one of the most remote places in North America. Roadless, unpopulated, isolated. The picture of poverty. Near the mountains and the sea, San Juanico is truly far from anywhere.
Luisa and Juan Pedro dream of something better than their dirt-floor shack, so he and his friend Felix head out on their mules for the faraway “city” of Insurgentes. Pulled in by scheming local politicians, ruthless tycoons, and fringe drug runners, the entire village of San Juanico falls in the line of fire between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
San Juanico follows a cast of lively characters – cattlemen, fishermen, cowboys and tough-as-nails women, all vying for survival in the romantic Baja desert. As deals are made, the stakes rise, and the lives of everyone in the village are on the line. Facing the trials of their humanity, the people of San Juanico learn to love, to accept, and to run toward their dreams.
Author Guy Bonnivier lived seasonally in a lonely palapa on the Sea of Cortez for twenty years, close to the unique people and land. He attempts to capture the essence of that time and place in this gripping tale, his debut novel.
Luisa collected her thoughts after realizing the serious turn of the conversation, she said, “Even though I give you a hard time, I want a better life too, Pedro. You know that. I make jokes about you dreaming, but that’s what I love about you. You know how to dream. Sometimes I forget to tell you, but I have dreams too. I have dreams for our children every day. If that road you want to build could bring us a school teacher, it would change our lives forever,” she leaned into him as she said it.