Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Road to Esmeralda

The Road to Esmeralda

A Novel

Joy Nicholson

St. Martin's Press



From the author of The Tribes of Palos Verdes, a compelling new novel about a couple's getaway to a Mexican paradise that goes horribly wrong.

Joy Nicholson's second novel, The Road to Esmeralda, is a dark, seductive story about Americans abroad. Fed up with their L.A. lives, Nick and Sarah decide to head south to Mexico. They are looking for something: love, self-fulfillment, inspiration, or even just peace of mind. However, as the roads get windier and the jungle thicker, this naïve pair realizes that all of the trappings of society-greed, drugs, violence and jealousy-exist even in the remotest of places. Even tiny Esmeralda has a secret agenda . . .

While her prose remains hearfelt and spare, Nicholson, in The Road to Esmeralda, also reveals a political edge. In exploring the prejudices of a small Mexican town, she weaves a harrowing and tragic story of love, devastation, and what it means to be a young, intelligent American in a very angry world.


Praise for The Road to Esmeralda

“Nicholson blends the trenchant politics of Barbara Kingsolver with the emotional insight of Sue Miller. . . without qualification: take the road to Esmeralda.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Joy Nicholson has fashioned a riveting political thriller, a searing love story, and ultimately a literary novel so wire-taut you will cut your fingers trying to hold onto it....” —Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight and I, Fatty

“With The Road to Esmeralda, Joy Nicholson evokes perfectly the menacing ambiguities of contemporary living, as experienced by an American couple in Mexico. Reminiscent of Graham Greene and Malcolm Lowry, her novel charts, in the most minute increments, our inability to escape ourselves, suggesting that destiny may be as much a matter of where we come from as who we are.” —David L. Ulin, editor, Another City: Writing from Los Angeles and Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology

“Edgy, seductive, hallucinatory, ominous.” —Stokes Howell, author of The Sexual Life of Savages and Other Stories

“In this Americans-in-trouble-abroad novel, Nicholson takes us into a remote Mexican tropical village unlike anything advertised in a travel magazine...her story is thrilling and seductive.” —Maria Amparo Escandón, author of Esperanza's Box of Saints and Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Co.

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Joy Nicholson

Joy Nicholson is the author of The Road to Esmeralda (2005) and The Tribes of Palos Verdes (1998). She lives in Los Angeles.

Joy Nicholson

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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