PEDRO & DANIEL is a sweeping and deeply personal novel about two brothers who are there for each other when no one else is.
Pedro and Daniel are Mexican American brothers growing up in 1970s Ohio. Their mother resents that Pedro is a spitting image of their darker-skinned father, that Daniel likes dolls, that neither boy plays sports.
Life at home is rough, but the boys have an unbreakable bond that will last their entire lives.
Together, the brothers manage an abusive home life, coming out, first loves, first jobs, and the AIDS pandemic, in a coming-of-age story unlike any other.
In this debut novel by Frederico Erebia, Pedro & Daniel is profoundly moving, dealing with racism, colorism, abuse, AIDS and coming of age. The novel is powerful, with the voices of the two brother’s being completely unique and unforgettable. Each is mesmerizing and resonated with me for different reasons. And the movement between their two voices creates a unique and profoundly moving story that will both break your heart and lift your spirits, especially the way the pair rise beyond their circumstances.
The language is rich and lyrical, using the language of the Hispanic culture to add depth and authenticity. The family dynamics are both heartbreaking but also true to the time period. There are many beautiful and sad moments in the novel but it is the way that the characters carry on together with their loving bond that creates the most meaning. I do love the layers of rich Hispanic culture, the food, the language and dealing with being gay within a very religious background. Each of these aspects make for a stronger story. I also like the struggles that Pedro has with dyslexia and anxiety, both realistic and touching.
Ultimately, this is one of the most touching and beautiful stories I’ve read. While it can be heartbreaking, it is also profoundly moving and hopeful. While it may be difficult to read, the characters will mesmerize you as well as the language. I suggest reading it if you love rich layered novels with depth. Pedro & Daniel is one of the most unique and best debut novels I have read.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Dichos