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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Mothers of Pine Way is the sequel to Corrine Ardoin's highly acclaimed novel, Fathers of Edenville. Grieving over the death of her beloved mother Ev, Candelaria Hart puts all her efforts into shedding light on the plight of migrant workers in America. Feeling proud of her Native and Mexican American heritage, Candelaria starts participating in marches with migrant workers and publishes columns in prominent magazines. Yet, she finds herself getting ever more distant from her son, Jim, a promising young man who gave in to alcohol and currently is having an affair with another man's wife. Meanwhile, her daughter, Rosa, prepares to be married to the love of her life. As Jim gets more lost, Candelaria must find inner peace with the help of her friends and family.
Mothers of Pine Way is an enthralling slice-of-life story that masterfully showcases the struggles, hopes, and dreams of people living in rural America. Author Corrine Ardoin's novel feels like an ode to mothers everywhere and explores universal themes of grief, loss, heartbreak, and hope. The characters are realistic with complex motives and layers of depth that make them captivating to read. Candelaria is an empowering protagonist who keeps pushing against every obstacle life throws at her. Jim's continual struggle to get over his father's death and his conflicted mind make him feel all the more human. This is slow-burn storytelling at its finest, and Mothers of Pine Way is very much a character-driven story. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys slice-of-life stories.