Barron, Sandra Rodriguez 1967-
Barron, Sandra Rodriguez 1967-
Born October, 1967, in Caguas, PR; daughter of Juan (a Peace Corps worker and teacher) and Yolanda Rodriguez; married Bob Barron, 2001; children: Patrick Daniel. Education: University of Connecticut, graduated; Florida International University, M.F.A.
Agent—Julie Castiglia, Castiglia Literary Agency, 1155 Camino del Mar, Ste. 510, Del Mar, CA 92014. E-mail—[email protected]
Has worked as a fund-raiser in Miami, FL.
The Heiress of Water (novel), Rayo (New York, NY), 2006.
Sandra Rodriguez Barron drew on many of her own lifetime experiences to create settings and characters in her debut novel, The Heiress of Water. The daughter of a dedicated Peace Corps worker, she was born in Puerto Rico before her family moved to the Dominican Republic, then to Connecticut, and then to El Salvador. When revolution broke out in El Salvador, the Rodriguezes returned to safer ground in Connecticut, where Barron finished her undergraduate college education. Connecticut and El Salvador are the main settings in Barron's novel. Her protagonist, Monica Winters Borrero, has to leave El Salvador at the age of twelve with her father after her mother apparently has drowned in the ocean. Growing up in Connecticut, Monica becomes a massage therapist, never knowing what really happened to her mother, an amateur biologist who was involved with Communist rebels. Her life takes a turn back to El Salvador, however, when she is hired by Will Lucerno to massage his comatose wife, Yvette. Will learns that there might be a drug treatment available in El Salvador derived from a seashell of a species that Monica's own mother was researching. The three therefore travel to El Salvador, where Monica embarks on a journey to rediscover herself.
Some reviewers felt that Barron's novel bears marks of an amateur novelist, with one Publishers Weekly critic observing that the author "clumsily handles the convoluted plot's ungainly twists." The reviewer, however, admitted that "the scenes in El Salvador are vividly rendered." Mary Margaret Benson, writing in Library Journal, was disappointed that Barron did not explore the political climate of El Salvador in more detail and felt that "the mystery is relatively predictable." Nevertheless, Benson enjoyed the growing romance between Monica and Will, adding that "the descriptions of the power of the sea are beautiful and haunting." In a much more laudatory review, Miami Herald contributor Marta Barber stated that the novel has "plenty of intrigue and inspired storytelling."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of The Heiress of Water, p. 36.
Library Journal, August 1, 2006, Mary Margaret Benson, review of The Heiress of Water, p. 66.
Miami Herald, September 5, 2006, Marta Barber, "Shell Game Sends Monica on Search," review of The Heiress of Water.
Publishers Weekly, July 24, 2006, review of The Heiress of Water, p. 38.
Sandra Rodriguez Barron Home Page,http://www.sandrarodriguezbarron.com (January 7, 2007).