It is 1860 and revolution is erupting throughout the world over universal emancipation. Civil war looms in the Unites States. In the midst of it all, a young woman is moving back to Boston with what is left of her family, devastated and bankrupted by savage, tragic events that occurred less than a year ago in the Pacific Northwest. They traverse a hostile terrain on the new Panama isthmus railroad, the most modern transportation in the world. From inside their coach they watch the humid forest, a different type of green from what they knew up north, slipping fast past, a warm verdant blur. Looking down the aisle they see an uncomfortable array of fellow travelers, an international mix of characters with whom they will get to know all too well . . . each with hidden hopes and dreams . . . predators and victims, desperadoes and hangmen, widows and widow makers.
A convenient ride through the jungle. An inconvenient assault. A run for their lives.
Praise for Isthmus
"After reading the first two books on the life of Emmy Evers all I can say is that she was the epitome of feminism at its best long before the notion came into vogue. She is determined, intrepid, resolute, courageous, fierce, self-actualizing and expects no favors from anybody. She can cry and mourn her dead husband and the flaws in him and their marriage and still love him and honor their union. She will die for her children and kill those who would harm them. When she falls down, she gets right back up. She is humble, modest and dignified. And not a peep of self-pity, resentment or retribution.
The author's juxtaposition of this remarkable woman with equally remarkable bad men and backdrops sets up great storytelling chemistry. In Widow Walk, Anah is deformed to hate by events the outer world brought to him, In Isthmus, Bocamalo is deformed to alienation with the normal world and brutality by physical deformities forced upon him. Both of these men, despite the atrocities they commit, are in great pain. The author's ability to empathize not only with Emmy but with the warped, vicious men who stand in her way adds an element of deep humanity to tales that are already rife with plot and character. Is it too much to call these novels literature?
They say history is told by the winners. Napolean supposedly said, sitting in Corsica, that history is myths agreed upon. LaSalle's novels tell history we thought we knew, in another way. A shell of preconception cracks and inside we find a fresh new beating heart telling history with a fresh new cadence of perspective."
— Amazon Customer Review