From American Book Award-winning author Ana Castillo comes a suspenseful, moving novel about a sensuous, smart, and fiercely independent woman. Eking out a living as a teacher’s aide in a small New Mexican border town, Tía Regina is also raising her teenage nephew, Gabo, a hardworking boy who has entered the country illegally and aspires to the priesthood. When Gabo’s father, Rafa, disappears while crossing over from Mexico, Regina fears the worst.
After several days of waiting and with an ominous phone call from a woman who may be connected to a smuggling ring, Regina and Gabo resolve to find Rafa. Help arrives in the form of Miguel, an amorous, recently divorced history teacher; Miguel’s gregarious abuelo Milton; a couple of Gabo’s gangbanger classmates; and a priest of wayward faith. Though their journey is rife with challenges and danger, it will serve as a remarkable testament to family bonds, cultural pride, and the human experience
Praise for The Guardians
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“An always skilled storyteller, [Castillo] grounds her writing in . . . humor, love, suspense and heartache–that draw the reader in.”
–Chicago Sunday Sun-Times
“A rollicking read, with jokes and suspense and joy rides and hearts breaking . . . This smart, passionate novel deserves a wide audience.”
–Los Angeles Times
“What drives the novel is its chorus of characters, all, in their own way, witnesses and guardian angels. In the end, Castillo’s unmistakable voice–earthy, impassioned, weaving a ‘hybrid vocabulary for a hybrid people’–is the book’s greatest revelation.”
–Time Out New York
“A wonderful novel . . . Castillo’s most important accomplishment in The Guardians is to give a unique literary voice to questions about what makes up a ‘family.’ ”
–El Paso Times
“A moving book that is both intimate and epic in its narrative.”
–Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
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Ana Castillo is the author of Peel My Love Like an Onion, So Far from God (a New York Times Notable Book), Sapogonia, and The Mixquiahuala Letters (winner of the American Book Award), as well as the short-story collection Loverboys. Her books of poetry include My Father Was a Toltec, I Ask the Impossible, and Watercolor Women Opaque Men (a novel in verse). She is the recipient of a Carl Sandburg Prize and a Southwestern Booksellers Award. She lives in New Mexico.
From the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* "I don't think they could come up with a horror movie worse than the situation we got going on en la frontera," muses Milton, a man who has seen it all and now, in old age, is nearly blind. Milton is one of four transfixing voices telling the grim story of life along the border between the U.S and Mexico. Castillo writes fiction and poetry of earthy sensuality, wry social commentary, and lyrical spiritualism that confront the cruel injustices accorded women and Mexicans in America, legal and otherwise. In this tightly coiled and powerful tale, Regina, a virgin-widow in her fifties living in rural New Mexico, cares for her unusually disciplined teenage nephew, Gabo, who believes he's destined for the priesthood. Gabo's father often crosses the border to visit, but this time something has gone wrong, and given the gruesome fate of Gabo's mother, there is cause for alarm. As Gabo intensifies his prayers and penance, Regina, a teacher's aide unaware of her allure, asks Miguel, a chivalrous activist history teacher, for help, and he, in turn, enlists his covertly resourceful grandfather, Milton. At once shatteringly realistic and dramatically mystical, Castillo's incandescent novel of suffering and love traces life's movement toward the light even in the bleakest of places. Donna Seaman
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