Last Mango in Texas: A Novel
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (5/09)
The story begins with Kyle Mango, a student at Texas Tech, meeting Gretchen at a fraternity party. Discontented with the fraternity, Kyle makes plans to escape. Gretchen helps him and he moves in with Chang, a friend of hers.
The story evolves into Kyle’s uncle dying and leaving him property in West Texas. The property produces oil and Kyle continues with his uncle’s venture. He hires Chang to help him. In the meantime Gretchen, an animal rights activist, goes to Alaska to clean oil off birds. This, of course, causes mixed emotions for Kyle; one that Gretchen is leaving and he is falling for her, and the other is that his oil wells could be contributing to the destruction of wildlife.
As Gretchen continues to advocate for the environment, Kyle continues to question his own thoughts and inner being. Kyle’s journey into self-discovery takes him to places he never even dreamed of. In the end, in his early twenties, Kyle finds his place in life.
Ray Blackston’s character development in “Last Mango in Texas” is superb. All the characters come to life and give the reader insight into each personality. The plot is sweet and flows in a slow, easy pace. If you are looking for a novel that is charming, yet delivers a message of self-discovery, this is the one. It’s a good read.