From American Book Award-winning author Ana Castillo comes a suspenseful, moving 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. Though their journey is rife with challenges and danger, it will serve as a remarkable testament to family bonds, cultural pride, and the human experience
Praise for The Guardians
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“An always skilled storyteller, [Castillo] grounds her writing in . . . humor, love, suspense and heartache–that draw the reader in.”
– Chicago Sunday Sun-Times
“A rollicking read, with jokes and suspense and joy rides and hearts breaking . . . This smart, passionate novel deserves a wide audience.”
–Los Angeles Times
“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.”
–Time Out New York
“A wonderful novel . . . Castillo’s most important accomplishment in The Guardians is to give a unique literary voice to questions about what makes up a ‘family.’ ”
–El Paso Times
“A moving book that is both intimate and epic in its narrative.”
–Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: The Guardians|
|Release Date: 12-10-2008|
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|Publisher: Random House|
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|Parent title||The Guardians|
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It was raining all night hard and heavy, making the land shiver—all the bare ocotillo and all the prickly pear. In the morning we found a tall yucca collapsed in the front yard. Everything is wet and gray so the day has not made itself known yet. It is something in between. As usual, I’m anxious. Behind the fog are los Franklins. Behind those mountains is my brother. Waiting. On this side we’re waiting, too, my fifteen-year-old nephew, Gabo, and his dog, la Winnie.
Winnie has one eye now. She got it stuck by a staghorn cactus that pulled it right out. Blood everywhere that day. By the time Gabo got home from his after-school bagger’s job at el Shur Sav, I was back from the vet’s with Winnie, rocking her like a baby. You couldn’t blame the dog for being upset, losing her eye and all.
I kept Gabo this time around because I want him to finish high school. I don’t care what the authorities say about his legal status. We’ll work it out, I say to Gabo, who, when he was barely walking I changed his diapers, which I also tell him. He’s still embarrassed to be seen in his boxers. That’s okay. I’m embarrassed to be seen in mine, too. Thirty years of being widowed, you better believe I dress for comfort.
“Stop all this mourning,” my mamá used to say. “You were only married six months. The guy was a drug addict, por Dios!” She actually would say that and repeat it even though Junior died fighting for his country. That’s why we got married. He was being shipped off to Vietnam. If the coroner suggested he had needle tracks, well, I don’t know about that.