Spanish / Mexico
Los fantasmas de Fernando
Sandoval, Jaime Alfonso
Ycaza, Roger (illus.)
México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2018. – 285 p.
(Series: A la orilla del viento; 241)
Coming of age | Son | Father | Death
Reading age: 13+
White Ravens issue: 2019
Everything’s going awry in Fernando’s life. His father left the family years ago, now Fernando’s dog has died, and his girlfriend Bere dumped him. But instead of living a lonely existence as a hikokomori – as he had planned to do –, his life takes a dramatic turn: Fernando’s terminally-ill father wants to bequeath a dilapidated country hotel to him. Torn between contempt for his father and the prospect of a financially carefree future, the 15-year-old heads to Costaverde with his aunt and “step-cousin”. There he undergoes an emotional roller-coaster-ride, which confronts him with the gaps and ghosts of his childhood and family while also preparing the painful, but liberating process of leaving childhood behind. With humour and strong, memorable characters, Jaime Alfonso Sandoval expertly crafts this story into a family history, coming-of-age story, and thriller rolled-into-one, using clever twists to hold readers’ attention until the very end.