Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New This Week: The Road from La Cueva by Sheila Ortego

Sheila Ortego’s debut novel is interesting on several levels. Ortego holds a doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico and she has taught Southwestern literature, women’s literature and women’s studies at several institutes of higher learning. She is currently the president of Santa Fe Community College, the first woman to hold that post. So, clearly, she is someone who has spent time exploring the intellectual side of making words that move hearts.

On the other hand, Ortego is a poet and she was recently invited to join the Live Poets Society in Santa Fe.

Both of these facets of Ortego’s life path are well represented in The Road from La Cueva (Sunstone Press) where we meet Ana Howland, a woman at a violent emotional crossroad in her life. Ana is faced with choices, some of which are hidden from her by a controlling husband and a habit of personal repression. None of this is particularly new ground, but Ortego’s sharp eye and delicate tread make it a vibrant journey of discovery. The Road from La Cueva is slender, but engaging and entirely memorable.



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