What Night Brings by Carla Trujillo

What Night Brings

Carla Trujillo

I didn't think I would like this book but I found it very readable. On the front cover there is an endorsement which says the book is 'at once heartbreaking and hilarious', there are certainly some funny moments but as the story is about two young girls living with a violent father, I found it quite disturbing. The comedy moments centre on Marcia (aged 11) and her frantic desire to be a boy as she like girls. Again though there is too much pathos in her situation to laugh for long and I felt great relief when the sisters escape to their grandmother. Well worth reading in spite of the Spanish dialect!

Extract

I have to tell you what I need from God. I have to change into a boy. This is what I want and it's not an easy thing to ask for. Not like wanting a new bike or a new football. This takes special powers, and let me tell you, I've been wanting it a long time. It's not because I think I'm a boy, though sometimes it sure seems like I am. It's because I like girls. I don't know how or when it happened. Maybe I was born this way, but the second I saw chiches, I wanted them. I couldn't stop thinking of girls, during the day at school, at night in my dreams, and especially when I watched TV. Now, I know you can't be with a girl if you are a girl. So that's why I have to change into a boy. And it needs to happen by the time I'm fourteen since my science books say that's when a boy's birdy gets bigger. Anyone can see I needed help. And I had to be good. That way, God or Baby Jesus would hear my wish. I had to think, say and do the right things. Because I know if I messed up that would be it. And my wish, just like my life, would be dust. This wish was what I want for myself. I already told you my other wish for my dad to go away. That one was for me, my sister, and my mom.

Parallels
  • Blessed art Thou a Monk Swimming by Miriam Dunne
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Marge by Kitty Fitzgerald