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A friend and blog reader, FLM belongs to a book group in Florida. One of the books on her list for winter discussion is THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES by Hector Tobar. Her facilitator labeled this book as an homage to Tom Wolfe, T C Boyle and Charles Dickens. (What a combo!)

THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES was selected as a New York Times Notable Book in 2011 and is a panoramic social novel of Los Angeles..a west coast Bonfire of the Vanities, if you will.

This is a tale about conspicuously consuming Americans and their servants. A Mexican servant becomes responsible for two little boys whose parents become unreachable. She begins a journey through the sprawling city in search of their paternal grandfather.

The well-intentioned  trip creates cultural misunderstandings and miscommunication. Reviewers called this a "dark, poignant and hilarious tale" of a family maid in Southern California (get it?) who tries to keep everything together as a marriage disintegrates.


Hector Tobar is a  Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, successful novelist and a native of Los Angeles. He's quoted as saying "I write a weekly column for the LA Times, my hometown newspaper. My father used to deliver it"

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