cover image Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club

Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club

Benjamin Alire S%C3%A1enz. Cinco Puntos, $16.95 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-935955-32-0

S%C3%A1enz's moving collection of short stories hinges on the intergenerational clientele of the titular borderland watering hole just south of the U.S.-Mexican divide on Avenida Ju%C3%A1rez. In "The Rule Maker," a bilingual boy raised by his single mother in Juarez reflects on his childhood, being abandoned by his mother, and how he wound up across the border in El Paso with his previously estranged American father. Years later, before the boy departs for Georgetown University, he and his father grab their passports and head south for a drink "where your mother and I used to go." In "Sometimes the Rain," newly minted high school friends Ernesto and Brian drive down for a night out at the Kentucky Club and discover a bond neither of them expected, but one that would change them forever. As a prose stylist, S%C3%A1enz tends toward the melodramatic, but there's much to enjoy in these gritty, heartfelt stories. (Oct.)