Synopses & Reviews
A literary jigsaw puzzle of a debut novel set in Colombia during the peak of its decades-long conflict, and in New York City
While her parents are away, a teenager finds herself home alone, with the household staff mysteriously gone, no phone connection, and news of an insurgency on the radio — and then she hears a knock at the door. Her teacher, who has been kidnapped by guerrillas, recites Shakespeare in the jungle to a class of sticks, leaves, and stones while his captors watch his every move. Another classmate, who has fled Colombia for the clubs of New York, is unable to forget the life she left behind without the help of the little bags of powder she carries with her. Taking place over two decades, The Lucky Ones presents us with a world in which perpetrators are indistinguishable from saviors, the truth is elusive, and loved ones can disappear without a trace.
A prismatic tale of a group of characters who emerge and recede throughout the novel and touch one another's lives in ways even they cannot comprehend, The Lucky Ones captures the intensity of life in Colombia as paramilitaries, guerrillas, and drug traffickers tear the country apart. Combining vivid descriptions of life under siege with a hallucinatory feel that befits its violent world, The Lucky Ones introduces a truly original and exciting new voice in fiction.
"The volatile, concentrated world of The Lucky Ones immediately surrounds the reader. We are compelled to follow Julianne Pachico deep into the fears, fantasies, and denials of her characters, whose susceptibilities we must recognize as our own." Lavinia Greenlaw, author of A Double Sorrow
"Riveting . . . Having lived in Colombia until she turned eighteen, Pachico has a firsthand connection to the country's charms and troubles that shines through on every gripping page." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Every episode of The Lucky Ones enlivens and unsettles in its own way. Their cumulative power derives from the way they expose the fragility of any kind of security, and the interconnectedness of lives across gulfs of time and society. It's a riveting work of fiction." James Scudamore, award-winning author of Heliopolis and The Amnesia Clinic
"Relentlessly rewarding . . . with traces of Gabriel García Márquez's News of a Kidnapping, Pachico's unapologetically immersive first novel brings life to a South American struggle often forgotten in global headlines." Booklist
About the Author
Julianne Pachico grew up in Cali, Colombia, and lived there until she was eighteen. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of East Anglia in England. Her story "Honey Bunny" appeared in The New Yorker, and two of her stories have been anthologized in Best British Short Stories 2015.