The Caregiver: Book summary and reviews of The Caregiver by Samuel Park

The Caregiver

by Samuel Park

The Caregiver by Samuel Park X
The Caregiver by Samuel Park
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Sep 2018
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

From the critically acclaimed author of This Burns My Heart comes a gorgeous, emotionally wise tale about a daughter who unearths the hidden life of her enigmatic mother.

Mara Alencar's mother Ana is the moon, the sun, the stars. Ana, a struggling voice-over actress, is an admirably brave and recklessly impulsive woman who does everything in her power to care for her little girl. With no other family or friends her own age, Ana eclipses Mara's entire world. They take turns caring for each other - in ways big and small.

Their arrangement begins to unravel when Ana becomes involved with a civilian rebel group attempting to undermine the city's torturous Police Chief, who rules over 1980s Rio de Janeiro with terrifying brutality. Ana makes decisions that indelibly change their shared life. When Mara is forced to escape, she emigrates to California where she finds employment as a caregiver to a young woman dying of stomach cancer. It's here that she begins to grapple with her turbulent past and starts to uncover vital truths - about her mother, herself, and what it means to truly take care of someone.

Told with vivid imagery and subtle poignancy, The Caregiver is a moving and profound story that asks us to investigate who we are - as children and parents, immigrants and citizens, and ultimately, humans looking for vital connectivity.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A ferocious page-turner with deep wells of compassion for the struggles of the living - and the sins of the dead." - Kirkus

"Park's latest hauntingly examines the codependent mother-daughter bond amid complicated layers created by the pursuit of truth…Affecting." - Booklist

"This beautiful novel is a moving meditation on the mutual dependence and unbreakable bonds of family" - Publishers Weekly

"The Caregiver is a rich and poignant tale of human nature at its best and worst, depicted with elegance and compassion." - Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Eligible

"The Caregiver is a triumph, a clear-eyed novel full of humanity and compassion and life. The threats of the world are ever-present, but so is a brave and defiant endurance, a sense that the heart can survive the worst defeats, the worst losses, the worst regimes. Samuel Park was a treasure, and he has left us with one." - Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers

"A novel both gripping and tender, told through a lyrical, thoughtful voice that enchanted me from the first page. Mara's unique story would not let me go." - Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters and The Light of Paris

"An addictive, propulsive read that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Samuel Park writes with a gimlet eye about love, life and death, able to pierce even the toughest of hearts." - Nami Mun, author of Miles from Nowhere

This information about The Caregiver shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Loriann

A book to call in sick for
I used a sick day to finish this book... deeply moving and compulsively readable. I'm not good a writer, and cant do it justice at all - just read the book. You won't regret it.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Samuel Park Author Biography

Samuel Park was an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. He graduated from Stanford University and the University of Southern California, where he earned his doctorate. He is the author of the novella Shakespeare's Sonnets and the writer-director of a short film of the same name, which was an official selection of numerous domestic and international film festivals. He authored three novels: Shakespeare's Sonnets (2006) This Burns My Heart (2011) and The Caregiver (2018). His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times. Born in Brazil and raised in Los Angeles, he split his time between Chicago and Los Angeles. In April 2017, Samuel Park died of stomach cancer at the age of 41 shortly after finishing The Caregiver.

Other books by Samuel Park at BookBrowse
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Big Vape
    Big Vape
    by Jamie Ducharme
    In Big Vape, TIME reporter Jamie Ducharme studies the short but inflammatory history of Juul. Her ...
  • Book Jacket: Love and Fury
    Love and Fury
    by Samantha Silva
    Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for being an early advocate for women's rights and the mother of ...
  • Book Jacket: Walking on Cowrie Shells
    Walking on Cowrie Shells
    by Nana Nkweti
    The stories in Nana Nkweti's dexterous debut collection examine the raw alienation of being ...
  • Book Jacket: The Personal Librarian
    The Personal Librarian
    by Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
    The Personal Librarian drew a robust positive response from our First Impressions reviewers, ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The War Nurse
by Tracey Enerson Wood
A sweeping novel by an international bestselling author based on a true World War I story.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Temple House Vanishing
    by Rachel Donohue

    A modern gothic page-turner set in a Victorian mansion in Ireland.

  • Book Jacket

    The Personal Librarian
    by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

    The little-known story of an extraordinary woman who defies all odds.

Win This Book!
Win Gordo

Gordo by Jaime Cortez

"Dark and hilarious ... singular and soaring ... Hands down, top debut of 2021."—Literary Hub

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

N Say N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.