Still Water Saints

Still Water Saints

by Alex Espinoza
3.3 3


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Still Water Saints by Alex Espinoza

“As perfect as the beads of a rosary.”
–Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“Fresh, magical, beautiful, evocative” says Lisa See, about this wonderful first novel by Alex Espinoza. Still Water Saints chronicles a momentous year in the life of Agua Mansa, a largely Latino town beyond the fringes of Los Angeles and home to the Botánica Oshún, where people come seeking charms, herbs, and candles. Above all, they seek the guidance of Perla Portillo, the shop’s owner. Perla has served the community for years, arming her clients with the tools to overcome all manner of crises, large and small. There is Juan, a man coming to terms with the death of his father; Nancy, a recently married schoolteacher; Shawn, an addict looking for peace in his chaotic life; and Rosa, a teenager trying to lose weight and find herself. But when a customer with a troubled and mysterious past arrives, Perla struggles to help and must confront both her unfulfilled hopes and doubts about her place in a rapidly changing world.

Imaginative, inspiring, lyrical, and beautifully written, Still Water Saints evokes the unpredictability of life and the resilience of the spirit through the journeys of the people of Agua Mansa, and especially of the one woman at the center of it all. Theirs are stories of faith and betrayal, love and loss, the bonds of family and community, and the constancy of change.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433234989
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 01/01/2009
Pages: 7
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico, the youngest of eleven children. At the age of two, he migrated to southern California with his family and grew up in the city of La Puente, a suburb of Los Angeles. Earning a B.A. from the University of California at Riverside with honors, Espinoza went on to receive an MFA from UC Irvine, where he was the editor of the university’s literary magazine. He now teaches creative writing at UC Riverside. Still Water Saints is his first novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Still Water Saints 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
_Still Water Saints _ is a powerful first novel. The author, Alex Espinoza crafts a beautiful braiding of stories, stories that delight, that break one's heart, stories that save lives--and this is what literature is all about. Perla is the bright flame woven throughout these stories. Espinoza develops this character beautifully and achieves this development with the other characters who come in contact with her. Espinoza's special hand at landscape reminds me of a painter--layer upon layer of sensory description that serves as another vehicle for readers to further understand this strange world these characters inhabit. Don't miss reading this book! Espinoza will take you where you haven't been before. I agree with Sandra Cisneros who wrote: 'Alex Espinoza's _Still Water Saints - is a cycle of tales as perfect as the beads of a rosary.' Orale! A Must-READ!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did not ejoy Still Water Saints. I read half of it, slowly, hoping for something special to happen, before I deemed it not worth forcing myself to read anymore. The main character, the 'bruja', was somewhat likeable, but otherwise unengaging on the page. The different stories are clearly intended to have some sentimental impact and to intertwine, but are altogether deflated. The characterization of all the different inhabitants of the title location leaves much to be desired. Whatever the resolution was, I have to admit, I was not even interested enough to try to get to it. I felt bored and depressed throughout most of the story, and somewhat aggravated by how disjointed the flow of events in the stories was. It seems to be little more than a manifesto for poor, ordinary Hispanics in California and various sad circumstances that seem to befall Mexican immigrants. I would have given this book one star were it not for this new author's ability to write just well enough for me to read half of it and to have hope for a good book. But as I my '2' rating indicates, I was highly disappointed.