Diadema by Carlos Aceves

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Carlos Aceves
Floricanto Press
Date of release

Book review

Mary Black receives a death bed request from her best friend, Diadema, to find a son that she gave up for adoption and let him know his mother "always loved him." Diadema is a fictionalized account of actual events, which came together in Paseo, a Texas border town. San Benito, across the U.S.-Mexico border, shares with Paseo centuries of history. Close by there is a set of small, strange volcanic rock mountains, an ancient archeological site that also reminds Paseños of a deeper, mystically past. Mary leaves the Midwest and finds her way to Paseo where she meets Carlos Alvarado who embodies the many historical contrasts of the city. Carlos is obsessed about his Mexican Native heritage, frustrated with what he considers the colonized reality of the present, and haunted by his past involvement with the American Indian Movement, he unwittingly leads Mary into labyrinth of mystery and intrigue. Their search intertwines with a theft of ancient skeletal remains from the local university museum, an L.A. medical examiner, and a Harvard anthropologist doing research at the sites. The mystery of Diadema's name and efforts to find her son blend into the mythology of the Virgen of Guadalupe to give an insightful look at the underground Indian traditions that still permeate Mexican American culture. "The spiritual path is a search for authenticity. From Mexican American, to Chicano and finally, Native American, the author of DIADEMA presents the steps one takes in traveling on this path that all of us must travel in our search for true meaning of who we are. Carlos Aceves paints a fascinating picture of a Southwest City (which we all know), a spiritual search for identity, the indigenous cultures of the area and a cast of characters who represent the people inhabiting this area." Pete T. Duarte, Former Professor at UTEP "A great story that brings to life the vibrant culture of a west Texas town." Mary Luckie, Educator. "Es una encantadora historia que dice realidades profundas del ser humano en forma tierna y mágica." Argelia Flores, teacher. Diadema truly reminded me of my childhood. In its, pages, I could almost hear my mother's voice once again speaking to me. It took me back to a very happy time of my life. María E. Saenz. Educator



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