“A beautiful book about family, memories, and the power of stories.” –BuzzFeed
“Mystical, masterful storytelling.” —Ms. Magazine
From International Latino Book Award-winning author Ann Dávila Cardinal comes a gorgeously written family saga about a Puerto Rican woman who finds herself gifted (or cursed?) with a strange ability.
There was always an old woman dying in the back room of her family’s house when Isla was a child…
Isla Larsen Sanchez’s life begins to unravel when her father passes away. Instead of being comforted at home in New Jersey, her mother starts leaving her in Puerto Rico with her grandmother and great-aunt each summer like a piece of forgotten luggage.
When Isla turns eighteen, her grandmother, a great storyteller, dies. It is then that Isla discovers she has a gift passed down through her family’s cuentistas. The tales of dead family storytellers are brought back to life, replaying themselves over and over in front of her.
At first, Isla is enchanted by this connection to the Sanchez cuentistas. But when Isla has a vision of an old murder mystery, she realizes that if she can’t solve it to make the loop end, these seemingly harmless stories could cost Isla her life.
Ann Dávila Cardinal is a novelist and Director of Recruitment for Vermont College of Fine Arts where she also earned her MFA in Writing. She comes from a long line of Puerto Rican writers, including father and son poets Virgilio and José Antonio Dávila, and her cousin, award-winning fiction writer Tere Dávila. Ann’s first novel, Sister Chicas, was co-written with Jane Alberdeston Coralin and Lisa Alvarado, and was released from New American Library. Her next novel, a horror young adult work titled Five Midnights, was released by Tor Teen on June 4, 2019. The story continues in Category Five, also from Tor Teen, released on June 2, 2020. Ann lives in Vermont where she cycles, knits, and prepares for the zombie apocalypse.
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