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By Oscar Casares. Little, Brown & Co.. 368 pp. $23.99.
Casares fulfills the promise of "Brownsville," his much acclaimed 2003 short-story collection, in this debut novel in which two cantakerous old men find hope and a future at the end of the road. Seventy-something Celestino Rosales springs his estranged ninety-one-year-old brother, Fedencio, from a Brownsville, Texas, nursing home and the squabbling pair set out, in the company of Celestino's housekeeper/lover, on a bus ride into Mexico to settle, once-and-for-all, a much-disputed family story, By turns rollicking and moving, the trio's quest turns into a beautifully rendered meditation on memory and the emotional connections that defy physical and geographical borders. []
Some readers might want to think of this as a “roadtrip” novel. Alienated for many years, brothers Fidencio (he’s 90-something) and his younger brother Celestino (he’s not too old to have a housekeeper who is also his lover) set out from Fidencio’s nursing home to return to their childhood home in a small village in northern Mexico. By turns touching and laugh-out-loud funny, this is a story you will remember for a long, long time. Fidencio’s names for the staff of his nursing home are a hoot. He calls the women patients the Old Turtles and one of them is the One With Big Ones while a male staff member is the Gringo With Ugly Fingers! []

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