Vigil : A Novel

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-21
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press
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Samartin's disappointing latest (after Tarnished Beauty) queasily alternates between past and present, as Ana, tending to her dying lover, reflects on the events that have brought her to this point. Samartin is at her best dealing with Ana's harsh childhood in war-torn El Salvador. But the story loses strength after a sympathetic nun arranges for Ana's entry to the U.S. Once in California, Ana attends school and, upon graduation, enters a convent. But before taking her vows, she works as a nanny for the wealthy Trellis family, and the temporary job becomes permanent as Ana becomes increasingly involved in the Trellis family. However, the characters are so thin that it's difficult to care about Ana or the Trellises, and the domestic dramas and descriptions of Ana's household duties that make up the bulk of the book are less than exciting, while the plot twist at the end is predictable and hokey. Samartin's writing, while sometimes fine, is often clotted with clumsy metaphors (a piano reminds Ana of an eagle on the wing soaring through the sky). The novel's derivative premise is its most distinguishing feature. (July) Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Cecilia Samartin
is the author of two previous novels, Broken Paradise and Tarnished Beauty. Born in Havana, Cuba, she now lives in southern California where she works as a psychotherapist.

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