Each Of Us A Desert by Mark Oshiro

*I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book. 

Each Of Us A Desert is a story of responsibility, freedom, love, and the strictures of power, told via a desperate journey across an unforgiving desert to a destination which keeps shifting to remain just out of reach. 

The structure of the journey in this book is really good. It feels open without being aimless, they have places they're trying to go and things they need to do or find there, but part of the point seems to be that what they're looking for keeps being just out of reach, or not quite what they thought it would be. The ending is amazing, it brought everything together in a way that surprised me while also completely fitting the story. The characters are great, the prose is beautiful, and I love the way that we travel through various towns with different ways of handling something which is deeply personal to the main character in a way that, by the end, changes the way they think about it. I don't understand Spanish, but the way it was interwoven with the English meant I had enough context to get the feeling of what was being said even if I don't know the translation. 

I love everything this book was doing, but it was a difficult read for me because I’m terrified of vomit. The MC (for great and very interesting plot reasons) spends a long stretch in the book occasionally throwing up and consistently thinking about how she’s trying not to throw up. If you have a phobia of that very particular thing (as I do) then please be careful. It’s handled with care and there isn’t much of a description in each instance, but it’s very clear that that’s what’s happening and so it stressed me out. If you don’t have that specific phobia then you’ll probably be fine, this just happens to be a major thing for me and it affected how much I could handle reading at a time.

Overall this is fantastic, and if you don't have my particular hangup you should be fine (just check the CWs first). It felt different from anything else I've read and I definitely recommend it.

CW for vomit, dismemberment, gore, massacre, parental death, murder.

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A sand dune where the shadow forms the outline of a person's face, with the sun rising behind it.


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