Trust Rice (Little Night, 2012), known for fiction that explores the power of family, to find the humanity in illegal immigration, a topic too often relegated to rhetoric and statistics. The story centers on Julia and Roberto, both of whom have suffered the loss of a daughter. Julia’s was killed in a car accident. Roberto’s little girl went missing as the pair crossed into the U.S. from Mexico—a trek through punishing desert that Rice depicts with visceral, heartbreaking brutality. The pair meet at the Malibu home of Julia’s aunt and uncle, where Julia is housesitting and Roberto oversees the titular orchard. An unlikely friendship forms between the two, a bond born out of shared grief, which eventually grows into a tender romance. Though Rice acknowledges the cultural chasm between her lovers, she also imbues her characters with uncommon kindness and understanding. Initially weighed down with exposition, Rice’s novel picks up steam as Julia takes up the search for Roberto’s daughter. An unexpected plot turn will leave readers begging for a sequel. --Patty Wetli
Praise for THE LEMON ORCHARD
"Rice here takes her signature themes of family and loss into the difficult and enigmatic landscape of illegal immigration to powerful effect . . . . An engaging and texturizing Southern California backdrop also subtly spotlights the struggle of land development and the environment as well as the fairy-tale atmosphere of Hollywood, and the book seamlessly includes details and plot points that both ground and enrich the story through its setting. Lovely and compelling, with quiet yet brave social commentary that enhances the book’s impact."
“Trust Rice (Little Night, 2012), known for fiction that explores the power of family, to find the humanity in illegal immigration, a topic too often relegated to rhetoric and statistics. . . . An unexpected plot turn will leave readers begging for a sequel.”
"Rice’s fans will appreciate the evocative setting and unconventional romance, as well as the harrowing . . . depictions of border crossing and the fascinating parallels drawn between Julia’s research interests (she studies the Irish who arrived in America over a century ago) and modern-day Mexican immigrants."
Praise for LITTLE NIGHT:
“Poetic and stirring…beautifully combines [Rice’s] love of nature and the power of family.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Best-selling author Rice’s 30th book is an outstanding read that both chills and warms the soul . . . highly recommended.”
—Library Journal, starred review
“Never rushing her story or revelations, Rice reaches the satisfying conclusion that while wounds run deep, love runs deeper.”
“A classic Rice page-turner.”
“In Little Night, Rice plumbs the depths of the damage that physical and mental abuse cause the recipients and allows us into the heads of those who suffer these situations. In spite of the serious nature of the subject matter, the story is filled with happy moments and an undying hope for future happiness.”