Gordon Chapin weaves an intimate, winding, and shocking story of two estranged siblings and their struggle to find peace with each other in the book, Paraiso. The siblings, Peter and Wendy (don’t worry there are a few neverland references) were extremely close growing up. The book chronicles their teenage attempt to run away from their well to do philadelphia family and home and head to Mexico. The subsequent fallout and betrayal leads to them living separate lives. Years later. Peter is an editor in New York City and Wendy is a popular modern sports photographer. After 9/11 Peter begins to work to find Wendy who has been stranded in a small town of Paraiso, Mexico and come face to face with their secrets, and find peace.
Paraiso is a book with characters that are so complex it’s hard to imagine that they are not real. Fans of Coen Brother movies, with their dark twists, will find Paraiso hard to put down.
“I could feel her presence burning beside me as someone whom I frighteningly didn’t seem to know anymore.”
This book jumps into the story at a place, and it took me a few chapters to figure out the pacing and timeline. Readers should be prepared to give the book some time to grasp what is going on. Like any good book, the meanderings give it depth and sincerity. The ending is like the read of Chapin’s story- shocking, provocative, and overall very satisfying.