A Church Hill novelist brings to light a century of heart-wrenching Guatemalan history
By Jason Tesauro, August 4, 2016
She’s your neighbor. And despite her wild beauty, she’s so under the radar that 99.9 percent of Richmonders couldn’t pick her out of a police lineup. The same is likely true of Guatemala, the subject of Kelly Kerney’s latest book. "Hard Red Spring" (Viking) is a historical fiction about an exotic and tortured neighbor that many Americans couldn’t find on a map. Countless tourists to Cancun and Belize have been within a long bus ride of Guatemala, but it turns out there’s a reason why you’ve likely never considered a vacation there. Actually, Kerney’s written 437 pages of reasons. Whether you’re the type who is afterward more inclined or less inclined to visit Guatemala – and why – is a good litmus test of whether this exquisitely textured tetralogy is for you.