Slum by Dan Carroll Vanity Press Books ISBN 978-1-300-34182-6

If there was ever an unlikely couple, it is Julianna and Robert. Julianna is a young retired stripper who lives in the slum of Cienaga on the fictitious island of San Cristobal. She has saved enough money to open a store from which she hopes to earn enough money to move her family out of the slum. Robert is a New Yorker who heads an organization that raises money to help people who live in slums. He has secured a hefty donation from his brother that is ear marked for Cienaga and he goes to San Cristobal to meet with the country’s president to finalize the terms. Slum, by Dan Carroll, is the story of how Julianna and Robert’s paths cross and what transpires once that happens.
Julianna is a strong woman. She is in an unhappy marriage and her daughter has been diagnosed with an ailment that she will likely die from in her teens. She remains determined to improve their lives. Robert has never lived in a slum. He lives in a condo on Long Island. When he suddenly finds himself thrust into the slum of Cienaga his perspective on life changes. He comes face to face with unforeseen moral issues that he struggles with. To further complicate things, he is attracted to Julianna, but the fact remains that she is married. They share two important things: they both love her daughter and they both have tragedy in their pasts. Can they make a life together?
This is well written fast moving story. Diverse and interesting characters with cultural differences and solid prose come together to make a good reading experience. There is a thought provoking study guide provided at the end of the novel. I recommend reading this book.
I received this book free of charge from Reader Spoils and I give this review of my own free will.


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