I have always loved taking the time to wander around in bookstores and libraries and discover something new and unexpected. It’s more fun than knowing what you want, honestly.

I had that opportunity today.

Because of COVID-19, we have to set appointments to go browse the library in one-hour intervals. We set one such hour today and went.

I knew Nathan needed some stuff as did Katie. But I had no intention of picking up anything because I’m only halfway into the book I’m currently reading. 

Yet, while wandering around, I saw this little book on the new fiction rack.


I’d never heard of it or the author but I liked the artwork (art has sold me on more books and albums than I can count). I flipped it to read the synopsis...

San Cristóbal was an unremarkable city—small, newly prosperous, contained by rain forest and river. But then the children arrived. 

No one knew where they came from: thirty-two kids, seemingly born of the jungle, speaking an unknown language. At first they scavenged, stealing food and money and absconding to the trees. But their transgressions escalated to violence, and then the city’s own children began defecting to join them. Facing complete collapse, municipal forces embark on a hunt to find the kids before the city falls into irreparable chaos.

Narrated by the social worker who led the hunt, A Luminous Republic is a suspenseful, anguished fable that “could be read as Lord of the Flies seen from the other side, but that would rob Barba of the profound originality of his world” (Juan Gabriel Vásquez).

I love the synopsis. Love, love, love! I can only hope it’s as good as the little bit I read. 

But, yes, I picked it up. Gauntlet dropped. I’d better finish that other book. 


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