Cuernavaca is the story of a young man’s struggle with himself, and, ultimately, against circumstances that threaten his very survival.
Most of the story is set in Cuernavaca, Mexico, a colorful city with an intriguing history. Known as the “City of the Eternal Spring,” Cuernavaca has played a key role throughout Mexican history. The city was the seat of government for the Conquistador Hernán Cortés after he conquered the Aztecs, and served as a base of operations for local historical figure Emiliano Zapata during the Mexican Revolution. Cuernavaca is a “traditional” Mexican city which retains much of its historical character. Although its population numbers in the hundreds of thousands, you won’t find a building over a dozen stories. It plays the role of a character in the book, and the story could not have unfolded, in the way it did, anywhere else.
Cuernavaca centers around the challenges that confront Scott Flores, an assistant professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Albany. SUNY Albany is North America’s leading center for the study of Mesoamerican Anthropology, and, after a privileged upbringing and an Ivy League education, Scott has landed there to start his career. He’s married to Lisa, a nurse he met while pursuing his Ph. D. at Harvard. The young couple is happy, if unfulfilled.
At the University, Scott has assumed the role of protégé to senior Professor Jerry Dwyer, and they’ve become close friends, despite the difference in their ages. Jerry is a childless bachelor, and Scott becomes the son Jerry never had.
Just under the surface, invisible to all of his friends and colleagues except Jerry, Scott fights to control a very personal demon. When tragedy turns Scott’s world inside out, he quickly begins to lose his personal battle, and, along with it, his grip on his career and all that matters. Guided by his best friend and mentor, desperately trying to salvage his career, Scott travels two thousand miles to southern Mexico in an attempt to rebuild a shattered life. What begins as a four month archeological research project turns out to be the ultimate test of his character when Scott discovers that everything in Mexico isn’t as it appears to be. Although his battle with himself is challenge enough, Scott soon becomes an unwilling participant in the struggle between good and evil that he finds hidden behind the beauty and charm of Cuernavaca. His will to survive is tested when the dark side of modern Mexico threatens to destroy him.
Set in contemporary Mexico against the backdrop of a wildly contested national election that touches Scott’s life in ways he doesn’t understand, Cuernavaca showcases in dramatic style the best and worst of a nation recreating itself, even as Scott struggles to earn his own second chance.
The audio version of Cuernavaca is now available on Audible.com. The narrator/producer is a talented young man from Denver named Jason Jewett who has done professional voice work. His voice is fantastic and perfect for the story. Even if you’ve read the print version, the audio book will be worth listening to just to hear his work. Check out a sample and download it here.