The Southland, Johnny Shaw

Three unauthorised Mexican immigrants come to Los Angeles to earn for a living. Luz works multiple jobs to provide for herself and her teenage son Eliseo. Ostelinda works as a labourer in a garment factory. She was deceived by coyotes and confined in the same building since her arrival, telling her to keep working to pay back for the travel expenses that they spent on her. Nadia works random odd jobs and homeless when she arrives in Los Angeles but later moves into an RV with Gillies that she meets shortly after.

Eliseo argues with Luz and goes missing for a week. Luz is worry about her son's whereabouts and keeps looking for him. She pays Gillies to help her to look for Eliseo because he is an American and more convenient to access to any places. Nadia, who was a journalist, is reluctant to participate with the search at the beginning. But she feels they have to help Luz since Gillies has already accepted the money.

The story is written in a slow pace manner and not difficult to read. The entire story is told with synchronous progress of the three main characters, which requires readers to keep changing their focus among them. I would prefer to have a different part for each character's story, a separate part when their lives cross paths and slowly leads to the ending of the story. It would be easier to distinguish the different background of the characters and lesser confusion between the past and the current state.

Thanks to NetGalley and Polis Books for providing me with a free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Rating: ★★★ (3/5)
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: The Southland by Johnny Shaw.

Show Comments