The Brick People

The Brick People

The Brick People

The Brick People

Synopsis

This engrossing historical novel traces the growth of California from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries by following the development of the Simons Brick Factory. With an attention to historical reality blended with myth and legend, the prolific Morales recounts the epic struggle of a people to forge their destiny, along with California's.

Excerpt

From the east where time began, the wind blew hard through the canyons and cold off the snowy mountains as Rosendo Guerrero waited in the early grey morning for Joseph Simons to emerge from his office. the morning brought back memories to Rosendo of his mother and father who were murdered by a deranged Frenchman who believed that the Emperor Maximilian was imprisoned near the Guerreros' home. He was thirteen when the demented man broke into his home, demanding to know the whereabouts of Emperor Maximilian, a man whom neither Rosendo nor his parents had ever heard about. the crazed man shot wildly at the Guerrero family: Father, Mother and five children of whom Rosendo was the eldest. His brothers and sisters did not scream, but watched and turned into small brown rocks. the room filled with the screams and hand defenses of his father and mother attempting to stop the bullets with torn voice and bloody hands, and the insistent questioning and firing of the Frenchman. Rosendo overcame fear and leaped out through the doorway to survive in the blackness of the North.

For many days, perhaps weeks, there was only blackness before his eyes. He kept advancing on the Flint Knife of the Northern axis of the ancient Aztec coordinates his parents had taught him. He could not go toward the Red Reed axis of the East, nor to the White House of the West, nor dare to look back at the Blue Rabbit of the South. At this time, these colors and images were hidden deep in his mind. Traveling through the pure blackness for seven years, Rosendo followed the brilliantly sharp Flint Knife that opened a path to the North.

Rosendo arrived in Los Angeles to realize that most of his young adult life had been spent journeying to a place that he knew nothing about. He had followed a directional mandala that his parents had inculcated in his psyche.

At the Simons Brickyard in Pasadena in 1892, he now traced the directional mandala in the soft red earth. the morning was one of complete loneliness as he finished the last oval figure of the mandala, which consisted of a center and four ovals interrelated in a continuous unwinding infinite spiral of energy, time and . . .

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