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Interesting,
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The Iguana Tree
by Michel Stone

Published: 2012-03-01
Hardcover : 220 pages
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Set amid the perils of illegal border crossings, The Iguana Tree is the suspenseful saga of Lilia and Hector, who separately make their way from Mexico into the United States, seeking work in the Carolinas and a home for their infant daughter.

Michel Stone's harrowing novel meticulously ...

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Introduction

Set amid the perils of illegal border crossings, The Iguana Tree is the suspenseful saga of Lilia and Hector, who separately make their way from Mexico into the United States, seeking work in the Carolinas and a home for their infant daughter.

Michel Stone's harrowing novel meticulously examines the obstacles each faces in pursuing a new life: manipulation, rape, and murder in the perilous commerce of border crossings; betrayal by family and friends; exploitation by corrupt officials and rapacious landowners on the U.S. side; and, finally, the inexorable workings of the U.S. justice system.

Hector and Lilia meet Americans willing to help them with legal assistance and offers of responsible employment, but their illegal entry seems certain to prove their undoing. The consequences of their decisions are devastating. In the end, The Iguana Tree is a universal story of loss, grief, and human dignity.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

The other twin did not emerge, and his brother paced the bank frantically calling to the river.After ten minutes, Lilia and the man and his boy had to proceed, to meet their contact on theAmerican side. The twin would not leave his brother behind, and he jumped and ran along theshore with grief and confusion, crying and cursing and pleading to God. Lilia and the others lefthim there beside the river, along with the rope and the trash bag that had carried the boy acrossthe water.They followed the bank to a patch of abandoned cars Carlos had told them to find. Thevehicles were strewn about like bones from some forgotten massacre. They were to climb inside,hide, and not show themselves until someone approached and called out the name Juan.Lilia recalled Carlos's instructions: “You may see others hiding like you. You'll have no needto speak to them, no need to answer when someone approaches and calls out Pedro or José orJesús. You listen for ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1) With which character do you feel more empathy: Hector or Lilia, and why?

2) How did this novel affect your thoughts/opinions on the US/Mexico border and immigration?

3) What is the theme of this book and give examples to support your answer.

4) What role do wild animals play in the book and what might they symbolize?

5) (for parents) How far would you go or what would you be willing to risk/do if you believed a better life for your child were possible?

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  "The Iguana Tree"by catmom (see profile) 10/23/12

The book is about a young family from a small town in Mexico and their experiences crossing the border to America. Their trips across the border are scary and harrowing. It gave us empathy for these immigrants,... (read more)

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