Barbarian Nurseries


By Héctor Tobar

cover image of Barbarian Nurseries

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Scott Tores is a thirty-something Mexican-American with a beautiful, blonde wife, Maureen, a mansion outside L.A., and a staff of servants to tend his lawn, clean his house, and care for their three children. But as the novel opens, all the servants have been let go, save for Araceli, the maid. Scott has fallen on hard times after a failed investment and in order to make ends meet has been forced to cut costs. With the recent addition of a newborn into their family, tension escalates, and the couple soon part ways, Maureen to a spa with their baby, Scott to a female co-worker's house. Both believe the other is caring for the children.

Araceli, who has never raised children before, spends more time daydreaming about her former life as a Mexico City artist than caring for the kids. When she starts to run out of food, she spirits the children off on an absurd adventure through Los Angeles in search of their Mexican-American grandfather. When Maureen and Scott finally return home, they panic, thinking Araceli has kidnapped the children. Soon a national media circus explodes over the "abduction."

The Barbarian Nurseries is a lush, highly populated social novel in the vein of Tom Wolfe with a bit of T.C. Boyle that explores dashed dreams through a city divided.

Barbarian Nurseries