Cover of "The Fragrance of Roses (Regalo ...
The Fragrance of Roses is the story of Angelica and Antonio, a couple from the Sonoma area of California. Their Down’s Syndrome son, Manuel, not only has cancer, but the cancer has returned with a vengeance. At its heart, this novel is a story of the couple’s bid to save their son.

Heart-rending enough.

But the search takes Antonio back to his roots in rural Mexico.

And forces Angelica to face–truly face–her parents, the owners of Regalo Grande, a large ranch.

It forces each of them, individually, to test the reality of their faith.

It forces them, as a couple, to grapple with issues of pride and poverty and priorities and faith.

My favorite part of this book is the deep and rich culture. Arana writes with tenderness and love for the Latino culture of Mexico and California.

It takes a strong writer to face prejudices without turning fiction into a poorly-disguised lecture. Arana is just such a writer. Perhaps it’s her unflinching way of telling the truth about each character? Strong characterization can open a reader’s heart. Again: Arana is just such a writer.

Blessings, Voni