Mario 2: Coming of Age

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Cover of Mario: Coming of age
George Hatcher
Casa Hatcher Press
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Hatcher has a style all his own. In this book, Mario Coming Of Age, the author introduces us to ten year old Mario and his life in East Los Angeles. The story is a slow build, taking us to all the ins and outs of Mario and his everyday struggles to survive in his hard-beaten neighborhood.

Mario’s life is no bed of roses; he and his friends scrap for every morsel, and only the love of his aunt keeps him going. I found the journey a bit tedious at times, but in the end I had to conclude, the way the author approached the story gave me an opportunity to get to know Mario and his immediate circle of friends, almost intimately.

This is a story of love, responsibility, jealousy and finally, revenge that unfolds as the years fly by. We see the times change irrevocably, as do Mario’s good fortunes. Yet one thing stays the same—Mario’s determination to better his aunt’s lot in life. Everything he does is to provide for his aunt. He is obsessed with making her life better. The author’s style is as conversational as barber parlor gossip. His main characters ring true in their environment, and while one is empathetically human, the others may be hard to like, impossible to put down, impossible to forget.