Cry WaterColors by Carlos Alvarado

8 Mar


Cry WaterColors

Carlos AlvaradoLumina Press, 2006 


Oscar Wilde once suggested that the focus of our attention should be the color, the beauty, and the joy of life, rather than its tribulations. But what do you do when all that consumes you is the loss of life and you can see no beauty in the world around you?  

At forty two years of age, Mark Balcon is still dealing with the loss of his father.  Blaming himself for his father’s death, Mark withdraws into himself, cutting himself off from everyone around him. His only solace, his only comfort, are the characters he creates when he writes. Spending more and more time with his characters and stories, Mark is slowly losing his grip on reality.  

Feeling he needs a change of pace, he heads to a house on
Lake Tahoe. He is there to write, to look into the mysteries surrounding Ghost Towns and lonely towns as isolated as he feels. And maybe to heal; he feels something inside him, a darkness that is building. Mark knows he needs to heal but he has no idea how to do so, no idea how to let the world back in.

Then he meets Emilia and everything changes. She gives him a love that he has never had before, a love that has a substance to it. Together, they bloom and experience physical love as well as emotional. Mark feels that he is growing again, feeling the world around him once more.  

But something is wrong. The darkness inside him that Mark brushed off as an effect of his loneliness is something more, something more menacing. Emilia and Mark will have to confront the demons that haunt them if they, and the budding love they share, have any hope of surviving. Mark will have to face what haunts him if he has any hope of staying alive.  

There are no words to describe how beautiful this book is. Cry WaterColors starts off slow, like a good jazz song, and pulls you in to an embrace. At first, when I started reading the novel, I was blown away by the use of words and the imagery. Then, when the story turned more introspective, my breath was taken away. Alvarado has such expertise using words that his prose is almost poetic.  

I love the characters in this novel. Mark and Emilia are flawed and imperfect, but this makes them more likeable, more human. Though the book seems to have a grim subject matter, the way the words flow and the way the characters dance with each other make it beautiful. You will find yourself wanting, needing, to dig deeper into Marks world, into the story itself.  

Alvarado is able to make you see inside Mark. Through out the novel, we see bits and pieces of what he writes, the characters he brings to life on the page. There is more powerful way to let us into Marks world and his thoughts. There is a sense of danger in Cry WaterColors, but the danger and unease pull you in until it is all you can do to unravel the mystery.  

I loved the book, period. It’s a poetic love story about looking inside yourself and facing your demons. Beautifully written gorgeously layered, Cry WaterColors is a treat for the mind and the imagination. If you read one good book this year, make it Cry WaterColors. Hopefully after reading it you’ll look at the world in a whole new way.

One Response to “Cry WaterColors by Carlos Alvarado”


  1. Interview with Carlos Alvarado « The Book Pedler - April 21, 2007

    […] CLICK HERE to read my […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: