cover image The Gold of Dreams

The Gold of Dreams

Jose Maria Merino. Farrar Straus Giroux, $15 (217pp) ISBN 978-0-374-32692-0

At 15, Miguel leaves his family behind to join in a search for treasure in the uncharted territory of New Spain. Set in the 16th century, this first novel comes to English as a result of grants from the Wheatland Foundation and the Spanish Ministry of Culture. Reminiscent of Don Quixote , Swiss Family Robinson and Treasure Island , Miguel's tale focuses on adventure rather than character development. Miguel and his companions do not jump from the pages in the fashion of more dramatic novelists, but the strength of Merino's writing lies in capturing the mood and events of the period. Even those reluctant to read about history will find this a rousing and enjoyable yarn. Also, with the coming quincentenary of Columbus's voyage, a work about the Spanish colonization of the New World should be of particular interest to readers. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)