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  • Defining Texas

    I received a free electronic ARC of this excellent novel from Netgalley, Justin Deabler, and St. Martin's Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Justin Deabler writes a tight family saga with protagonists you feel you know. Some of them, I'm afraid to say, I'm probably kin to. This is a debut novel, but you won't know it by the stories here. Justin Deabler writes with heart. We follow four generations of the Warner family through the ins and outs of central Texas from the late 1960s through the 2000s. We see the Vietnam War through the eyes of Texas boys. We live it, through the rise and fall of the first air-conditioned events stadium, the Houston Astrodome, the growth of and the sudden death of Enron, the loss of the space shuttle Challenger, the rapid growth of Houston. Especially, we see the problems with the border of Mexico, the efforts we must make to help immigrants settle into life as we know it here in the U.S., and the inroads made through these years into finding equality for our minorities, the LGBT community, immigrants, and women in our world today. This is a book to savor, with protagonists who matter to you immediately, going through life challenges that we have each faced ourselves, in one degree or another. It is a joy to watch as the world begins to adapt to a more liberated community of folk. There are days you might need a microscope to see progress, but we ARE finding our way to a more equal standard.

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