Today I have the lovely Mary Pauline Lowry here to talk about her book THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE. I will be reviewing her book very soon, but in the meantime, enjoy!
First I want to thank Andrea for hosting me here at her amazing book blog The Bookish Babes.
During a FridayReads Twitter Book Tour, one of the reviewers from the book blog Insatiable Booksluts tweeted that my novel The Earthquake Machine is like “Huck Finn with vibrators.” I love that tweet because it really captures the adventurous, girl-powered spirit of The Earthquake Machine.
Instead of Huck Finn running away and teaming up with a runaway slave, in The Earthquake Machine a girl named Rhonda runs away to Mexico to find her family’s yardman Jésus, who has been deported. And instead of the Misssissippi River, the Rio Grande River runs through my novel. And of course instead of Huck Finn pretending to be a girl, my protagonist Rhonda changes her appearance so she can “pass” as a Mexican boy named Angel and travel safely deep into interior Mexico.
I wanted The Earthquake Machine to be a bold and daring coming-of-age tale for every woman or grrrl who ever longed to shake off the limitations imposed by her gender and take a wild journey.
The Earthquake Machine
The book every girl should read,
and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.
The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.
Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.
Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.