Driftwood: Stories From the Margarita Road
is a novel about expatriates living in a small tourist town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. These tales are narrated by Poppa, the owner of a local beach bar. This places him front and center in the lives of his fellow wanderers who have come looking for a new home south of the border.
Defining ‘home’ is a primary theme throughout the book. Searching through beaches of white sand and blue water, each expat must decide where he or she truly belongs–and what the price may be to get there. Some of the stories are humorous, others are heartwarming, and still more are dark and threatening.
Big Tom has escaped the rat race but finds he might not as easily be able to give up his dog-eat-dog competitive spirit. Marty, a lazy trust-fund traveler in the tradition of Mark Twain’s Remittance Man, is trying to find some purpose in life as the self-appointed protector of a local prostitute. Jane’s decision to reform the town’s gigolo may result from her strong Christian faith, or it might simply be a diversion from a troubled marriage. After Lenny’s arrest for drug dealing, he must decide whether time in a Mexican jail might still be better than returning to his failed life in America. Sadie needs help protecting her heart from the beach-side playboys–but who will protect her from her savior? Geoffrey’s attitude that everything and everyone in Mexico is his for the taking may push the expat code of loyalty to the limit.
These are just a few of the stories Poppa tells of Paradise Beach.
The theme of escaping the ‘real’ world to find salvation in a tropical paradise has long been part of our cultural history. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim; Herman Wouk’s Don’t Stop the Carnival, and most recently Jimmy Buffett’s enormously popular Margaritaville books have all followed adventurers on the Margarita Road.
Driftwood: Stories From the Margarita Road is part of that literary tradition and is an homage to those brave and sometimes foolish enough to escape a past life and go searching for the dream of freedom on a distant shore.