From a young writer trying to win a girl to a boy grappling with confusion about sin, each protagonist in this collection of nine short stories experiences a journey, an encounter, or a revelation that transforms them.
In Rosa's Gift and Other Stories, author Michael Cantwell presents these stories reflecting the joys and sorrows of all stages of human life. In the title story, "Rosa's Gift," Peter Collins, a semiretired commercial artist from New York, visits Guatemala, where he studies Spanish. As he wanders around Antigua, he meets a teenage Mayan indigene, a little girl who sells trinkets to tourists. Peter is inspired to help her get an education. In doing so, he is forced to confront the extreme poverty of Mayan life. "Christmas in the Great Depression" tells the story of Philip Nason, a twelve-year-old boy who wants a bicycle for Christmas. Because of the Depression, his father explains a bicycle is something the family cannot afford. Phil responds by waging a campaign, drawing cartoons promoting his wish and posting them all over the house and on the windshield of his father's car.
As Cantwell's characters receive insights that help them meet the challenges of life, he makes each personality and destination come alive, from Depression-era Detroit to a confessional in a dark church in a New England city to the streets of Havana.