Posts Tagged ‘Prisons for women’

Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Co.

August 1, 2012

Author: Escandón, María Amparo

Title: Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Co.: A Road Novel with Literary License

 Genre: Women’s Lives and Relationships

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 304 p.

Geographical Setting: Mexico and United States.

Time Period: Contemporary


Plot Summary: At the Mexicali Penal Institute for Women in Mexico, a more or less laidback jail, female prisoner Libertad creates a library club. She is unwilling to reveal her crime. Instead, she starts reading for her fellow inmates the story of Joaquin, a former literature professor and fugitive of the Mexican government, who escapes to the United States, becomes a truck driver, and falls in love. Joaquin unexpectedly finds himself alone with his young daughter and has no other option that to make their 18-wheeler their home. As the daughter grows their strong relationship get affected by Joaquin paranoid and controlling attitude. The tension intensifies after the girl’s random encounter with a man which eventually causes the conflict that separates them.  During her time at prison, Libertad bonds with a group of peculiar inmates. They build friendships and camaraderie while discussing the readings. The prisoners become very intrigued by the story and after discussing the twists and turns of the tale they soon realize that the story is Libertad’s own. The story ends with a surprising, compelling and joyful twist.

Subject Headings: Women prisoners; Fathers and daughters; Fugitives; Trucking; Prisons for women; Book discussion groups; Mexico.

Appeal: Emotionally-charged, heartwarming, hopeful, humorous, optimistic, engaging, eccentric and sympathetic characters, family-centered, plot-centered, details of trucking live style, details of women prisoners, conversational, jargon language, psychological, domestic.


3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  Emotionally-charged, engaging, domestic.


Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Across a Hundred Mountains by Reyna Grande. This story is about love, loss, migration and discovery. Two women meet in desperate circumstances and develop a strong connection at a jail in Tijuana. This book also deals with Latina prisoners, their emotional domestic situations, and friendship.

Last Exit in New Jersey by C. E. Grundler. This suspenseful story features a strong young woman determined to uncover the mystery of her cousin’s and their tractor trailer disappearance. Along with her trucker father, Hazel becomes target of death threats and decides to take matters into her own hands. Just like Escandón’s novel, this story presents a courageous female protagonist and her father-daughter relationships within a trucking frame full of humorous tones.

Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig. A young revolutionary socialist and a middle-age homosexual build a strong relationship while sharing a cell in an Argentine prison. This book not only takes place in jail, but also shares elements of compelling and psychological dialogue, as well as story-telling as part of the plot.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman. This autobiographical work recounts the author’s experience in a correctional facility after being convicted for drug trafficking. An interesting reading with real insight about the criminal justice system and the lives of women in prison.

CB Slanguage Language Dictionary – The Official by Lanie Dills. A New York Times Best Seller about Citizens Band (CB) radio lingo, the standard reference for CB radio jargon. A lot of readers enjoy the trucking slang references in the book. It may come handy for (CB) radio enthusiasts or when encountering a big rigger on the expressway.

The Book Club Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to the Reading Group Experience by Diana Loevy. According to the publishers, this is a resource full of ideas to entertain reading group members and enrich their book club experience. Libertad Gonzalez, the protagonist, starts a library club in prison engaging her fellow inmates through her story telling. This could be a helpful guide for those who become inspire to start their own reading group.

Fanny Camargo