The Veins of the Ocean: Book summary and reviews of The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel

The Veins of the Ocean

by Patricia Engel

The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel X
The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel
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  • Published in USA  May 2016
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The extraordinary new novel from award-winning author Patricia Engel, The Veins of the Ocean is a heartrending story of one woman's devotion to her death row–convicted brother and her journey away from a painful past.

Reina Castillo is the alluring young woman whose beloved brother is serving a death sentence for a crime that shocked the community, throwing a baby off a bridge - a crime for which Reina secretly blames herself. With her brother's death, though devastated and in mourning, Reina is finally released from her prison vigil. Seeking anonymity, she moves to a sleepy town in the Florida Keys where she meets Nesto Cadena, a recently exiled Cuban awaiting with hope the arrival of the children he left behind in Havana. Through Nesto's love of the sea and capacity for faith, Reina comes to understand her own connections to the life-giving and destructive forces of the ocean that surrounds her as well as its role in her family's troubled history, and in their companionship, begins to find freedom from the burden of guilt she carries for her brother's crime.

Set in the vibrant coastal and Caribbean communities of Miami, the Florida Keys, Havana, Cuba, and Cartagena, Colombia, with The Veins of the Ocean Patricia Engel delivers a profound and riveting Pan-American story of fractured lives finding solace and redemption in the beauty and power of the natural world, and in one another.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In a novel that is vitally relevant today when the word refugee has such loaded connotations, Engel delivers a pulsating ... and deeply introspective take on how family, love, and guilt can both 'chain us together' and set us free." - Booklist

"Engel has crafted a detailed, rich world of vivid atmosphere and imagery ... A dark comedy with unexpected heart." - Kirkus

"The Veins of the Ocean is an indelible novel of loss, grief, and redemption. Patricia Engel has created a world that is at once sensuous and dangerous, authentic and poetic, harrowing and hopeful." - Laila Lalami

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Author Information

Patricia Engel

Patricia Engel is the author of Vida, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Fiction Award and Young Lions Fiction Award, and the acclaimed novel It's Not Love, It's Just Paris, winner of the International Latino Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, A Public Space, Harvard Review, and Guernica, among other publications and anthologies, and received numerous awards including a 2014 fellowship in literature from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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