Scott Zesch’s novel, Alamo Heights, is a fictional account of the battle to preserve the Texas landmark. More than simply a book on history, it is a story about the people behind the events. Each character has a hidden agenda: Rose Herrera, the character based on de Zavala, wants to protect the Alamo as a symbol of her heritage. To do so, she must fight a corrupt legislator, a powerful eastern syndicate, and her former friends.
Alva Carson Keane, Herrera’s partner, protects the Alamo from an eastern hotel company in order to erect a monument to her cattle-baron father. The fight between Keane and Herrera springs from a misunderstanding about the origins of the warehouse, a clash of egos, and mysterious events in their families’ past.
The ladies’ battle also represents a larger conflict between the Anglo and Hispanic cultures. Zesch’s novel addresses the assimilation of Tejanos in a racially divided, increasingly Anglo state. Herrera won’t allow Keane and her allies to destroy the Alamo and make a mockery of her culture by building a monument to the cattle barons, a group of people who overran her heritage and her family. Forced into a corner by her powerful enemies, Herrera must make some drastic choices to save the old convent.
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Published by Texas Christian University Press