After finding the body of a drowned man in the Río Bravo (Rio Grande), five sisters set out on a danger-filled adventure that will take them from their border town in Texas to Mexico.
When Odilia, the narrator and oldest sister, and her four siblings come across the body of a drowned man carrying identification in his pocket, they decide to take him back to his family in Mexico. Having ruled out wiser options, they also throw in a visit to their Mexican grandmother for good measure. Using Odysseus as the inspiration, McCall (Shame the Stars, 2016, etc.) patterns the girls’ journey after his, and their one-day intended trip becomes a 12-day escapade. Along the way they encounter mythical Mexican characters—La Llorona, Cecilia the witch, lechuzas, a nagual, a chupacabra, the goddess Tonantzín—who either hinder or help them along the way. The fantastical journey gets bogged down with myriad improbable decisions and excessive descriptions that distract from the plot. Originally published in English as The Summer of the Mariposas (2012), this translation is adequate but not stellar. There are many literal and word-for-word translations as well as Anglicisms that fluent Spanish readers will find distracting.
A Mexican-set Odyssey that falls flat. (Fantasy. 9-15)