Cristina Henriquez - THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS
A dazzling, heartbreaking page-turner
destined for breakout status: a novel that gives voice to millions of
Americans as it tells the story of the love between a Panamanian boy and
a Mexican girl: teenagers living in an apartment block of immigrant
families like their own.
After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the
Riveras leave México and come to America. But upon settling at Redwood
Apartments, a two-story cinderblock complex just off a highway in
Delaware, they discover that Maribel's recovery-the piece of the
American Dream on which they've pinned all their hopes-will not be easy.
Every task seems to confront them with language, racial, and cultural
obstacles. At Redwood also lives Mayor Toro, a high school sophomore
whose family arrived from Panamà fifteen years ago. Mayor sees in
Maribel something others do not: that beyond her lovely face, and
beneath the damage she's sustained, is a gentle, funny, and wise spirit.
But as the two grow closer, violence casts a shadow over all their
futures in America. Peopled with deeply sympathetic characters, this
poignant yet unsentimental tale of young love tells a riveting story of
unflinching honesty and humanity that offers a resonant new definition
of what it means to be an American. An instant classic is born.