The Book of Lost Saints is an evocative multigenerational Cuban-American family story of revolution, loss, and family bonds from New York Times-bestselling author Daniel José Older.
Marisol vanished during the Cuban Revolution, disappearing with hardly a trace. Now, shaped by atrocities long-forgotten, her tenacious spirit visits her nephew, Ramón, in modern-day New Jersey. Her hope: that her presence will prompt him to unearth their painful family history.
Ramón launches a haphazard investigation into the story of his ancestor, unaware of the forces driving him on his search. Along the way, he falls in love, faces a run-in with a murderous gangster, and uncovers the lives of the lost saints who helped Marisol during her imprisonment.
The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older is a haunting meditation on family, forgiveness, and the violent struggle to be free.
An Imprint Book
Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf
"A lyrical, beautiful, devastating, literally haunting journey."
N.K. Jemisin, award-winning author of the Broken Earth trilogy
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Daniel José Older is the New York Times-bestselling author of the young adult series Shadowshaper Cypher, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, the middle grade historical fantasy series Dactyl Hill Squad, and Star Wars: Last Shot. He won the International Latino Book Award and has been nominated for the Kirkus Prize, the Mythopoeic Award, the Locus Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the World Fantasy Award. Shadowshaper was named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as a New York City paramedic, and hear his music on his website, on YouTube, and on Twitter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4-4.5 stars Wow, what an ending! This was no an easy book to read, partly because it was hard to figure out what was going on at the beginning, and partly because of the subject matter. This book covers the time surrounding the Cuban Revolution and moves towards the present where Ramon is being visited by the spirit and memories of his dead aunt Marisol as they both try to figure out what happened to her. This was a subject that I didn't know much about and like all war zones/dictatorships, it was a brutal, violent, and unfair time, and the struggles of the people continue to this day. The abuse and violence was particularly tough to read about, but I think it was also important to the story. There were times when I would get lost about the situation, but overall, I felt the author did an amazing job weaving together the past and the present. There were so many elements I loved about this book, and I only wish I could hear some of the music that Ramon put together, especially with the orchestra! This book took me awhile to get through because I wanted to read it slowly and let some of the events sit in my head. But I suspect if I had had the time, I could have sat down and read it in a couple of settings, with a different impact. As it was, I finished the last 60% in two sittings because once I hit that 50% mark, I wanted to know what happened! For anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a bit of mysticism and mystery, and doesn't mind some sex and violence, I would recommend this book. Thanks to #NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Marisol was lost to her family in the Cuban Revolution… it pains the relatives to try to remember this time in their lives and most just choose not to. Her sister Nilda had moved to the US and is now living in New Jersey. Yet, after the the trauma of the past, she lives as a virtual recluse… Marisol’s ethereal spirit is still alive, but barely. She will use what’s left to nudge her nephew Ramon towards the truth. Ramon is a hospital security guard by day and a DJ by night. He has an on again, off again relationship with a young doctor, someone he really likes, but feels the relationship is doomed. So he pours his energy into his music… until he starts experiencing dreams of Cuba, and his lost ties to the island. Ramon starts asking questions and ones people don’t want to answer… The Book of Lost Saints is ghost story of sorts. One that spans generations and a revolution and a bifurcation of cultures. The story is narrated by Marisol and the first few chapters definitely take a little to get used to as I figured out that I was seeing the world through the eyes of a spirit. The once-removed view is important because it enables the reader to experience the past and the present through this single eye, but the problem is that Marisol doesn’t remember some key details of her life on the island. It takes Ramon’s investigations and her own discoveries to trigger the past. I loved Older’s writing. From the mixture of English and Spanish languages to the repetition of key words and phrases, the writing is lyrical and mesmerizing. There are dark or tough passages to read, but there is also so much love. The love of family, but a hard series of choices that has split and broken people in the midst of governmental eruption. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories of the American tapestry.