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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Romance / Western
  • Language:English
  • Pages:292
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781735177151

San Juanico

A Novel of Baja California Sur

by Guy Bonnivier View author's profile page

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Overview
In 1960, in the remote village of San Juanico, Mexico, Luisa and Juan Pedro welcome a son, their first child to survive birth. The Baja Peninsula where they live is one of the most remote places in North America. Roadless, unpopulated, isolated. The picture of poverty. Near the mountains and the sea, San Juanico is truly far from anywhere. Luisa and Juan Pedro dream of something better than their dirt-floor shack, so he and his friend Felix head out on their mules for the faraway "city" of Insurgentes. Pulled in by scheming local politicians, ruthless tycoons, and fringe drug runners, the entire village of San Juanico falls in the line of fire between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. San Juanico follows a cast of lively characters – cattlemen, fishermen, cowboys and tough-as-nails women, all vying for survival in the romantic Baja desert. As deals are made, the stakes rise, and the lives of everyone in the village are on the line. Facing the trials of their humanity, the people of San Juanico learn to love, to accept, and to run toward their dreams. Author Guy Bonnivier lived seasonally in a lonely palapa on the Sea of Cortez for twenty years, close to the unique people and land. He attempts to capture the essence of that time and place in this gripping tale, his debut novel.
Description
Luisa Murillo wants a better life. Married at fourteen and a mother of two children she birthed on the dirt floor of her husband's shack, she dreams. Luisa and her husband Juan Pedro have lived in the sleepy village of San Juanico their whole lives, in remote Baja California Sur, Mexico, a tiny corner of the world where modern life of the 1960's has yet to spread its tentacles. Their home is near the mountains and the sea, but it is far from anywhere. Juan Pedro decides to leave in search of something better in the faraway "city" of Insurgentes. Along with his friend Felix, Juan Pedro is drawn into the schemes of small-time local politicians and fringe drug runners, who are set on "opening the Baja Peninsula for business." Although Luisa, Juan Pedro and Felix cannot know, their village is in the line of fire between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which are bound to collide in their landscape like two runaway freight trains. In Insurgentes, crafty businessman Sammy Gonzo and tycoon Oscar Padilla are determined to build roads and airstrips, expanding the access of drug runners and entrepreneurs. Cowboys and tough-as-nails women vie for survival in the romantic Baja desert. As deals are made, the stakes rise, and the lives of everyone in San Juanico are put on the line. San Juanico follows the stories of Juan Pedro, Luisa and Felix, as well as four other central characters: Antonio Sanchez Ruis and his love interest Anna Marie, Antonio's cousin Leonardo Ruiz and his wife Carmen. In their world, prosperity exists in isolated pockets along-side of wretched human existence on the precipice of change. As the characters face the trials of their humanity, they learn to love, to grow, to accept, and to run toward their dreams. Author Guy Bonnivier lived seasonally in a lonely palapa on the Sea of Cortez for twenty years, close to the unique people and the land. He attempts to capture the essence of that time and place in this gripping tale, his debut novel.
About the author
Born in Chicago, Guy Bonnivier learned at an early age he was not suited to urban life. Trapping his first hawk at the age of fifteen, he went on to become a master falconer. At seventeen, he moved west to live and hunt with his birds. Two years later, a retired Wyoming Game and Fish officer convinced Guy to return to school. He graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. While working for the U.S. Forest Service in Arizona in the 1970s, Guy was repairing a pipe on a dry 10,000-gallon metal stock tank in the Sonoran Desert. Curious, he climbed inside and dug out the remains of dozens of hawks, falcons, owls and other birds from the deep sediment in the tank bottom. He was so disturbed by the drowned birds he found his writing voice for the first time, authoring articles for 'Defenders of Wildlife' about the need for escape ramps in the thousands of stock water tanks across the vast, arid American West. While in route to report on fires in the Salmon River Wilderness in Idaho, Guy drove through an awe-inspiring pastoral valley. Tens of thousands of mallards and sandhill cranes, in wave after wave, settled into golden fields of barley stubble against a backdrop of bright-orange cottonwoods, laid out under a cloud-free September sky. So taken by the sight, he pulled over and watched the birds for hours, then followed them as they went to roost on a nearby spring-fed wetland – Silver Creek. As the sun set that evening, he decided then and there to call the place home. Guy became the first employee of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho, when he was hired to take on the "impossible" task of restoring the degraded Silver Creek and its once-famous fishery. Over two decades, he worked with farmers, ranchers, sportsmen, and government agencies in the watershed to establish one of the most successful private stream conservation projects for public benefit to date, and he became an early proponent of modern fisheries management. He leveraged his conservation knowledge across forty years and accomplished land, water, and wildlife conservation across Idaho and the west. That same passion led him to work with local conservationists in Baja California Sur, Mexico, to help establish "Parque Marina Nacional, Bahia de Loreto," a 2,000-square-kilometer marine protected area in the Sea of Cortez. Now retired, Guy spends his time writing, dividing the year between a self-built cabin on the Big Lost River in Central Idaho in summer, and a home in the shadows of the Chiricahau Mountains of Southeast Arizona in winter.
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