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Reviewed by Sandy Masia for Readers' Favorite
Based in 1952, The Ride by Nancy Cathers Demme tells the story of Diego Ramirez, a 15-year-old boy who is running away from his home for unknown reasons. The crux of the book is an exploration of who Diego is, why he has left and what is next for him. We follow as he hitchhikes and meets interesting characters along the way.
The backward storytelling of The Ride is one of its most fascinating features. Nancy Cathers Demme employs eloquent prose, crystalline characterization and motifs to create a work of fiction that is thoroughly engaging, situating and heartrending. The Ride does this from the first page to the last, managing to keep the same tempo and quality throughout. There is something to be appreciated about the characterization of Diego Ramirez; Nancy Cathers Demme knew how to make a character that radiated innocence and drew compassion, despite his many troubling qualities and demons. It is not an easy thing to do, especially when the behavior and subject matter have the potential to alienate the reader.
This book is short, but I found myself taking my time reading it. Overall, this book is simply delicious to read and the more we journey with Diego the more we wish we could do so forever. He isn’t the best company to keep, but there is something calming and charming about spending time with him. The Ride is unforgettable, the story has an eerie memorable quality to it that I find unique. It was a pleasure. I can’t wait for more fiction from Nancy Cathers Demme, a terrific writer.