As the novel begins, Hector lives in a tiny Mexican village called Puerto Isadore with his wife and new baby daughter, but he knows he can do better for them. Precisely because he loves his family so much, Hector is eager to risk his life and to pay his life savings to the coyote who promises to get him safely into the United States where he can prepare a new home for Lilia and tiny Alejandro. Hector, after surviving a trip across the border that would have driven a claustrophobic insane, decides to travel with his new friend Miguel to Edisto Island, South Carolina, where a promise of work awaits them.
The Iguana Tree tells a story that is guaranteed to touch the heart of even the staunchest opponent of illegal immigration. It compels the reader to see the illegals as people rather than mere statistics and helps to explain why so many are willing to gamble everything to get out of Mexico and Central America and into the United States. I particularly applaud the realistic ending that Stone chose for The Iguana Tree because a softer approach would have greatly lessened the impact of the story she tells so well.
Rated at: 4.0