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The Guardians

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From American Book Award-winning author Ana Castillo comes a suspenseful, moving new 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, Tia 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. Between the ruthless coyotes who exploit Mexicans while smuggling them to America and the border officials who are out to arrest and deport the illegal immigrants, looming threat is a constant companion on the journey.

Ana Castillo brilliantly evokes the beautiful, stark desert landscape and creates vivid characters with strong voices and resilient hearts. Like Sandra Cisneros's acclaimed The House on Mango Street, wrote Barbara Kingsolver when reviewing So Far from God, Castillo's writing is seasoned with Mexican aphorisms and] rich symbolism. . . . Impossible to resist. The Guardians serves as a remarkable testament to enduring faith, family bonds, cultural pride, and the human experience.

The Guardians is a rollicking read, with jokes and suspense and joy rides and hearts breaking, mending and breaking again. It has...a deeply rooted urgency, expressed with a compelling mix of bruised indignation and bemused tenderness....This smart, passionate novel deserves a wide audience. — Los Angeles Times

Timely and highly readable....Castillo's most important accomplishment in The Guardians is to give a unique literary voice to questions about what makes up a 'family, ' Mexican-American or otherwise, where an independent soul can find redemption, particularly in a hostile world, and how we can realistically find 'faith, ' if we can find it at all, after we have suffered through our personal and political histories, and are still standing on this earth. This is a wonderful novel that does justice to life on the Mexican-American border. — El Paso Times

Only a gifted storyteller could portray one family's tragic struggle to overcome the barriers between nationality and dignity in a way that makes her cause own own. Does Castillo do this? Claro que si. — New York Daily News

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, even as the search for Rafa races to its dreaded conclusion. — Time Out New York

From its lyrical first lines...The Guardians invites you into the story of Regina, a 50ish virgin-widow living in a small town on the border between the U.S. and Mexico; her neighbors; her family; and the dangerous forces that surround them — the narco traffickers, the Border Patrol, the coyotes and the 'unmerciful desert' itself. The novel is earning praise for its timeliness in addressing issues of immigration, and for what novelist Cristina Garcia calls its 'literary magic.' — Orange County Register

Castillo's topical, heartbreaking novel blooms from the rugged desert soil along the U.S.-Mexican border, in a small New Mexican town perched on the fault line of the immigration controversy.... Castillo] allows her characters to speak poignantly to the harsh truths of border life....What if we didn't have passionate, lyrical writers to shine a beacon on injustice and cruelty or remind us of the dignity due all human beings? We would be poorer and more ignorant, indeed. — Miami Herald Forecast for Summer Reading

The complex and perilous life along the border between the United States and Mexico is the timely subject of this impassioned novel. Castillo uses a classic storytelling format — the search — to provide an engaging tale narrated by a poor yet fearless and wise widow trying to find her brother....this spare, sometimes profane novel provides a powerful glimpse of border lives hanging in the everyday balance. — Seattle Post Intelligencer (one of their best of the 2007 releases from June, July and August)

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....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. Booklist (starred review)

A nuanced, vibrant look at the American experience through Mexican-American eyes. — Kirkus Reviews

The end of the month brings Ana Castillo's GUARDIANS (Random House), a fictional foray into the world of illegal immigration. The plot revolves around a Mexican man who goes missing during a crossing and his sister's efforts to track the coyotes who may have had a hand in it.-Houston Chronicle A Fictional Feast

THE GUARDIANS by Ana Castillo: The author of Peel My Love Like an Onion takes on the many issues surrounding illegal immigration in a powerful new novel in which a family's faith is tested. Wonderful ... moving ... intimate ... epic, Oscar Hijuelos told Amazon.com.-San Antonio Express-News New Summer Books

The acclaimed author of Peel My Love Like an Onion tracks the perilous lives of Mexicans who illegally cross the the U.S. for work...Castillo writes convincingly in the voices of the canny, struggling Regina....the desirous Miguel; the passion

Review:

"'The acclaimed author of Peel My Love Like an Onion tracks the perilous lives of Mexicans who illegally cross to the U.S. for work. Fifty-something Regina, a poorly paid aide in a public school on the U.S. side, is raising Gabo, the son of her brother, Rafa. Seven years have passed since Gabo's mother, Ximena, was murdered by 'coyotes,' or paid traffickers, during a crossing, her body mutilated for salable organs. As the novel opens, Rafa, who has continued to travel back and forth for work, is due to arrive, but vanishes. With Miguel Betancourt, a divorced teacher at Regina's school in his mid-30s, Regina tries to confront the coyotes who were supposed to cross Rafa. In alternating first-person chapters, Castillo writes convincingly in the voices of the canny, struggling Regina, who remains a virgin after a being widowed in an unconsummated marriage; the desirous Miguel; the passionately religious Gabo; and El Abuelo Milton, Miguel's elderly grandfather. All are sucked into a vortex of horror as the search for Rafa consumes them. Castillo takes readers forcefully into the lives of the neglected and abused, but missing is a full emotional connection to the protagonists, who remain strangely absent even as their fates are sealed.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"If, as Flannery O'Connor once said, the mark of a good story is that it resists summation, the mark of a poor one may be that a summary is better than the whole. The publicity material for Ana Castillo's disjointed new novel, 'The Guardians,' describes it thus: 'When Regina, a sensuous, smart, and endearing middle-aged virgin-widow, learns that her brother has vanished while crossing the border from... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

“This is a surprising and powerful novel that captures the vulnerability and stark beauty of life in a small border town. Castillo instills the voices of her four main characters with such passion and humanity, their vitality practically crackles on the page. Unforgettable and timely, Castillo’s literary magic will charm you once again.”

–Cristina García, author of A Handbook to Luck

From American Book Award-winning author Ana Castillo comes a suspenseful, moving new 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. Between the ruthless “coyotes” who exploit Mexicans while smuggling them to America and the border officials who are out to arrest and deport the illegal immigrants, looming threat is a constant companion on the journey.

Ana Castillo brilliantly evokes the beautiful, stark desert landscape and creates vivid characters with strong voices and resilient hearts. “Like Sandra Cisneros’s acclaimed The House on Mango Street,” wrote Barbara Kingsolver when reviewing So Far from God, “Castillo’s writing is seasoned with Mexican aphorisms [and] rich symbolism. . . . Impossible to resist.” The Guardians serves as a remarkable testament to enduring faith, family bonds, cultural pride, and the human experience.

About the Author

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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400065004
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Castillo, Ana
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Mexican-american border region
Subject:
Mexican americans
Publication Date:
20070731
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9.52x6.42x.93 in. 1.04 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Guardians
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 224 pages Random House - English 9781400065004 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'The acclaimed author of Peel My Love Like an Onion tracks the perilous lives of Mexicans who illegally cross to the U.S. for work. Fifty-something Regina, a poorly paid aide in a public school on the U.S. side, is raising Gabo, the son of her brother, Rafa. Seven years have passed since Gabo's mother, Ximena, was murdered by 'coyotes,' or paid traffickers, during a crossing, her body mutilated for salable organs. As the novel opens, Rafa, who has continued to travel back and forth for work, is due to arrive, but vanishes. With Miguel Betancourt, a divorced teacher at Regina's school in his mid-30s, Regina tries to confront the coyotes who were supposed to cross Rafa. In alternating first-person chapters, Castillo writes convincingly in the voices of the canny, struggling Regina, who remains a virgin after a being widowed in an unconsummated marriage; the desirous Miguel; the passionately religious Gabo; and El Abuelo Milton, Miguel's elderly grandfather. All are sucked into a vortex of horror as the search for Rafa consumes them. Castillo takes readers forcefully into the lives of the neglected and abused, but missing is a full emotional connection to the protagonists, who remain strangely absent even as their fates are sealed.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , “This is a surprising and powerful novel that captures the vulnerability and stark beauty of life in a small border town. Castillo instills the voices of her four main characters with such passion and humanity, their vitality practically crackles on the page. Unforgettable and timely, Castillo’s literary magic will charm you once again.”

–Cristina García, author of A Handbook to Luck

From American Book Award-winning author Ana Castillo comes a suspenseful, moving new 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. Between the ruthless “coyotes” who exploit Mexicans while smuggling them to America and the border officials who are out to arrest and deport the illegal immigrants, looming threat is a constant companion on the journey.

Ana Castillo brilliantly evokes the beautiful, stark desert landscape and creates vivid characters with strong voices and resilient hearts. “Like Sandra Cisneros’s acclaimed The House on Mango Street,” wrote Barbara Kingsolver when reviewing So Far from God, “Castillo’s writing is seasoned with Mexican aphorisms [and] rich symbolism. . . . Impossible to resist.” The Guardians serves as a remarkable testament to enduring faith, family bonds, cultural pride, and the human experience.

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