SELENA (April 2015)
by Ernest Brawley
Spanning a quarter of a century, from the early 1950s until the 1970s, and set against the social and political turmoil of the San Joaquin Valley in that watershed era, Ernest Brawley’s sexy, historical romance SELENA traces the interlocking destinies of a haunting young woman who believes she’s been chosen for greatness, and the two desperate men who have been lifelong rivals for her love.
From early childhood, when the Blessed Virgin appear to Selena in a vision, she has been certain she’s fated for special accomplishments. Although her poor Chicano family labors in the tomato fields and the packing house of the great Vanducci empire, she dreams of marrying into the landed gentry. When the fantasy shatters in her face, she goes on to beocme a spellbinding labor organizer, steeped in the mythology of her ancestors and determined to bring the parvenu landowners—especially the Vanduccis—to their knees.
Heir to a fortune, Jay-Jay Vanducci struggles—out of his impossible love for Selena—against the claims of caste and clan. His ultimate decision and the brutal scheming of his father ignite a chain of fiolent acts that explode into an all-out class war. Meanwhile, Jay-Jay’s foster brother Delano, half-breed, ex-con and born survivor, schemes and plots his way through a maze of confused loyalties and reluctant treacheries, further complicated by his obsession with Selena and by the knowledge that the Vanducci land was originally settled by his own great-grandfather.