McMahon, Tyler*: Kilometer 99 (2014)
* RPCV El Salvador (1999-2002)
Discussion: Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 6:30-8:00 pm. Location at the home of Peggy McClure, 5450 SW 18th Dr in Portland, 503-453-2089. Participating in our discussion–via Skype–will be Tyler McMahon, the book’s author! Feel free to bring snacks to share.
Review: © Booklist: In his second novel (after How the Mistakes Were Made, 2011), McMahon once again focuses on an adventurous young woman, this time a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador. Hawaiian-born Malia has come to El Salvador with a newly minted engineering degree, and she throws herself into helping a rural village build an aqueduct to bring much-needed water to the villagers. She spends her weekends with her boyfriend, Ben, surfing the perfect waves just off the coastal city of La Libertad. Then a devastating earthquake wipes out a year’s worth of her work, and she finds herself reluctantly agreeing to spend the next year surfing with Ben, torn between her ambitions and her desire for the perfect adventure. But a robbery and an ill-timed meeting with a shady developer derail the couple’s travel plans. Instead of following the waves south, they find themselves desperately short of money and involved in a dangerous scheme to deliver drugs to renegade dealers. In this dark adventure tale, McMahon summons both the mystical joys of surfing and the angst of young people trying to navigate a treacherous world.