The Ballad of Ravolo Soto
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Set in 2008 Puerto Rico, this novel aims to explore the relationship between constructed masks of personal identity, the increasingly interconnected nature of community, and their confluence in the worlds of politics, media, social activism, and business through a narrative examination of the ways in which three primary characters affect the lives of those around them. Jaime, a meditative young man with a penchant for planes, comes home to find the power shut off and his drug-addict mother gone. His best friend, Yarique, a disaffected stoner with a false sense of machismo, becomes an overnight sensation after an escalating series of violent run-ins with his abuelo’s neighbor. Ravolo Soto, a reclusive pitorro distiller, drinks to keep The Other in check, but takes off into the jungles of Lares, hiding out in his father’s mountain shack, after a violent encounter with the police leaves one officer dead.