Go and Come Back

Topics: Alicia and Annie Sorell, People of the Book Pages: 6 (2171 words) Published: August 10, 2010
Go and Come Back
Posted on Monday, June 21st, 2010 at 11:02 am
Book Review
-Go and Come Back-
By: Aery Yoo

It is nice to have a place to return to. The author of Go and come back, Joan Abelove, acutely makes us realize that. The author, Joan Abelove has won many awards for Go and come back; It was chosen as ‘an ALA notable book,’ ‘an ALA best book for young adults,’ and ‘a 1999 Los Angeles Times book prize finalist.’ Her first book, Go and come back is a fiction based on real places, experiences, and people. The people who live in the village of Poincushmana in Peru only know each other. However, one day, two white women, who are strangers come to Poincushmana to study the people’s lives. Everybody is fascinated and mesmerized by the two white anthropologists, Joanna and Margarita. So, the tribe people allow Joanna and Margarita to live with them in the village. Despite the fact that Joanna and Margarita’s unique behaviors and boxes full of mysterious things seem very interesting to the Peruvian tribe, the main character, Alicia does not like that Joanna and Margarita are going to live in the village. However, due to the fact that Alicia, Joanna, and Margarita are not friends from the beginning, makes this book more impressive. Reading that total strangers have become part of the family, even though when there is no similarity between them, is beautiful enough to warm our hearts. Everybody would be able to feel the line that connects each person in the tribe, including Joanna and Margarita. Although there are no big sensations, the quiet and tranquil friendship between Alicia and Joanna is so intimate that it is enough to make us not lonely, And thus, I want to recommend this book to people who are lonely and apart from their families. Go and comeback made me(whose family is in another country) realize that there is always a line that connects a family, even though the family is 1000 miles apart from each other. Moreover, I also realized that I have a place to return to. For example, at the end of the book , when it is time for Margarita and Joanna to leave, Alicia tells them, “”Catanhue”, I said, Go and come back.” (177) The word “Catanhue” was more powerful than “I love you,” or “I will never forget you,” or any other words. The phrase, “Go and come back” to me, seemed like a sign of eternal connection between family. Moreover, Go and come back plant abiding belief in people, about people. For example, when Joanna feels guilty because she thought that she made Margarita sick, Alicia goes to her and tells her, “How can you think you have such power, to be able to harm people? No, it can’t be. Only if you ate a tabooed food, or asked a witch to cast a spell. People don’t have that kind of power over each other by accident, by chance, for no reason, without spending much time learning to be a witch. No. You can only harm people if you mean to.” (75) Everybody knows that people have power to harm other people. However, influenced by the author’s unique and memorable writing style, we are mysteriously convinced that people do not have such power to harm people. We are strangely assimilated with the author, and Abelove’s writing leads us to have credence in people. Go and come back is a book that people can finish in a short time, despite the fact that it contains a theme that can affect many people, especially people who are lonely. This book tells us that a family is always connected and we all have place to return to. At the end, Joan Abelove’s dreamy yet, realistic style of writing is not a waste of time to explore.


By Joan Abelove.
177 pp. New York:
DK Ink/DK Publishing.
$16.95. (Ages 12 and up)

oung-ADULT fiction just gets racier and racier. In Joan Abelove's ''Go and Come Back,'' married...
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