Wednesday, August 15, 2018

review: crux by jean guerrero

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With her father as the framework, journalist Jean Guerrero explores the dynamics of her family in a memoir called Crux. It is clear that Guerrero considers her father, Marco, the crux as he disappears from her life only to return with rampant drug abuse and outrageous claims. Everyone says he has schizophrenia (and Guerrero worries about genetics), but Marco claims he's the victim of a CIA experiment. Being a journalist, Guerrero investigates the claim, but the CIA and other federal agencies refuse her Freedom of Information Act requests. That combined with her research on MKUltra causes Guerrero to wonder if there isn't some merit to the wild story about being stopped by a soldier while other men planted something in Marco's vehicle. But Crux isn't all paranoia and conspiracy theories. Guerrero relates her father's past which begins with the tragedy around his birth and abusive early years that don't get any better when a violent stepfather comes into the picture. The stories are powerful and haunting, especially as Guerrero also shares her own story of growing up as a "gringa" at a Catholic school in San Diego despite her Puerto Rican/Mexican heritage.
Review copy provided by the publisher, One World.

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