Alfonso Guilin: Ezee, A Family Saga of Hope and Faith
By Sheryl Hamlin
Alfonso Guilin’s unique life experiences in agribusiness, religion, politics and family have provided background for another novel. His successful previous works were reviewed here. Unlike previous works whose plots and characters were regional in scope, this new novel spans continents and generations and makes generous use of coincidence … or is it synchronicity?
As someone said “there are no coincidences”, yet there are those in the academic world who feel the use of coincidence indicates a weak plot or an inability to plan ahead. This is not the case with Alfonso Guilin’s story line in Ezee where he uses coincidence to move the plot along rapidly and keep the reader guessing.
It is hard to miss the religious symbolism in this novel. Alfonso Guilin is an ordained Deacon of the Catholic Church based at Saint Sebastian in Santa Paula, California. The opening page presents the novel’s namesake ‘Ezee’ crossing the river at Blythe, California toward a new life. Crossing a river is a recognized symbol for deliverance and salvation, also reminiscent of early baptismal events held in rivers and streams. Found too on page one is the recurring theme of sharing food or breaking bread as an act of communion and peace. And, without giving too much away of the plot, it is hard to ignore the symbolic reference to Mary Magdalene, the repentant sinner who according to some religious historians was a prostitute.
The novel’s subtitle could be “a family saga born of Hope and Faith”. As the dynastic family grows through births and marriages, the common theme of hope and faith never leaves the family, as prayer, meditation and hard work permeate the family culture. Strong women dominate the novel across all three generations of the family.
How does one go from destitute runaway, onion picker, charming tennis player to agri-business magnate? Alfonso Guilin takes the reader along this journey through the life of a character in tune with his surroundings and with the innate ability to succeed and catch the next wave of success. But unlike those whose success strips him or her of identity, Ezee’s mysterious identity and deep familial connections are the pebbles Al Guilin tosses to the reader throughout the novel.
Was it coincidence or synchronicity? The deft storyteller Alfonso Guilin lets the reader decide.
For more information about the author, visit sheryhamlin.com