cover image Días de Consuelo

Días de Consuelo

Dave Ortega. Radiator, $20 (184p) ISBN 978-0-9963989-1-6

Ortega (River) chronicles the childhood of Consuelo, his 103-year-old grandmother, as she grows up in Mexico during the Revolution in a story—part history lesson and part biography—that emphasizes the bravery and resilience experienced through the generations of one Mexican family. Before Consuelo’s birth, Ortega’s great-great-grandmother Isabel Reyes Badillo Zúñiga lives with her own daughter, Evarista Zúñiga, among the crumbling political infrastructure of Mexico. Evarista eventually marries a local musician, Pedro Castañón, and births Consuelo in 1914. Four years later, however, with the revolution showing no signs of slowing and new constitutional mandates going into effect, insurrectionists breaking into their home leads Pedro to leave for the United States in search of a safer life, though he and sends money to Consuelo and a pregnant Evarista, who stay in Mexico. With only each other for support, Consuelo and Evarista work to survive in a war-torn community and pray for better lives for themselves and their family. In Ortega’s hyperrealistic art, with monochrome sepias developing more color as the years pass, the scope of the story is wisely kept small, allowing the complexity of the Mexican Revolution and its impact on the characters to serve as a backdrop for this deeply personal and affecting narrative. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)