Tuesday, July 29, 2008
House of Sand and Fog (1999)
Sometimes it takes me a long time to get around to reading a particular title even though everyone else is praising it to the skies. This was one of those books. I didn't even have any idea what it was about but the first few pages created a heavy sense of dread that enveloped me. Author Andre Dubus III is so skilled that he keeps you reading even when you fear the worst. I finished the book at 3:00 am!
Basically the story is about how things can go wrong between people who don't or can't communicate or understand each other. Bureaucracy and red tape elicit emotions that are unsolvable leaving citizens to cope with the problems it creates.
Kathy Nicolo's house in California was inherited from her father. It is auctioned off for taxes that were wrongly assessed against it, but she is helpless to stop the process and the house is purchased for very little money by an Iranian family. That family has been struggling to maintain its social standing in a new country and the house could be their salvation.