Dave Ortega’s grandmother was born during the Mexican Revolution. In Dias De Consuelo, Dave tells her family’s story, starting in 1914, when her mother, Evarista, was being courted by a talented musician. Tradition and etiquette dictated the social mores of the time, so courting was restricted to reciting dichos (well-known sayings or morals) to each other in public. But when the war comes to their small town, it throws the budding romance and everyone’s lives upside down.
Dave focuses his family’s story on the individuals who lived them rather than the tumultuous political and military events that surrounded them. A patient but engrossing telling of everyday life in Fresnillo, Mexico is just peppered with historical information about the Mexican Revolution. In this first act, we meet and become familiar with Evarista, her mother, Isabel and her suitor Pedro. By the end we are invested and need to know what happens next, as the war uproots them.