A Falling Star
Price: $18.95 Sale: $17.05
Bronze Medal Winner for Multicultural Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards!
Order your copy now!
Daysy Maria del Pozo and Stella Maris Morales-Quinn both came to the United States as part of the 1980 Mariel Boatlift—Daysy settling in South Florida with her family and Stella starting a new life with her mother and step-father in Pittsburgh. Over time, they each find themselves haunted by their families’ complicated and painful Cuban pasts. As Stella deals with her mother’s suicide and it slowly dawns on Daysy that there are family secrets she must uncover, the reader hears the del Pozo family history, piece by piece, from Daysy’s mother. Soon it becomes clear that Daysy and Stella may share more than their Cuban-American heritage.
Advance praise for A Falling Star:
A Falling Star is filled with the ghosts of lost children and siblings, lost cultures and minds. It’s as if the characters are standing on a Florida shore looking toward Cuba, waiting for the remnants of their former lives to wash up along with the refugees who appear again and again. Chantel Acevedo has created a world so steeped in longing and Santería lore that it’s entirely possible missing children can fall star-like from the sky, or emerge fish-like from the ocean. This haunting novel delivers not only secrets and lies, pounding guilt and grief, but glorious redemption.
—Marie Manilla, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly and Shrapnel
A Falling Star is a novel in tapestry form, interwoven from the various threads of an exiled Cuban family, tied to the mystery of one daughter’s disappearance during the ocean crossing. The surviving daughter, Daysy, is the inquisitive Penelope figure who weaves and unweaves the story of her family through old photos, newspaper articles, and constant questioning. Chantel Acevedo writes with insight and tenderness about the complex reality of unanchored lives both in Cuba and in the U.S., while at the same time involving us in a captivating tale of loss and redemption.
—Judith Ortiz Cofer, author of Call Me María and An Island Like You
The enduring love for a lost sister is the focus of this beautifully written novel set against the chaotic backdrop of the Mariel Boatlift. Daysy del Pozo is having a hard enough time dealing with adolescence when her beloved grandfather reveals an explosive family secret in the confusion of dementia. What really happened to the del Pozo family after a rescue at sea creates a gripping mystery, and the suspense builds to a dramatic climax and bittersweet denouement. The homesickness, fragmentation, and disorientation of the Miami exile community are vividly portrayed and deeply moving. This is a beautiful story about instincts that keep families together in even the most horrifying of circumstances.
—Sandra Rodriguez Barron, author of The Heiress of Water and Stay with Me
In one unforgettable scene in this fine novel, a woman travels far just to stand outside the prison that holds her lover. She wants to listen to the same singer he hears at nightfall—it’s the only way to be close to someone she’ll never see again. In evocative, careful prose, A Falling Star tells a simple tale of family loss, exile, of two worlds forced apart. But Chantel Acevedo does something more: she conjures the secret history of the Cuban-American soul.
—Moira Crone, author of The Not Yet and Dream State
Readings & Appearances:
Nov. 21-23, 2014–Chantel Acevedo on the faculty of the North Carolina Writers Network Fall Conference.
Thursday, Nov. 20, 6:30 pm–Reading with Moira Crone at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC
Thursday, Nov. 20, 12:00 pm–Reading at Duke University in Durham, NC, open to the public, location TBA
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 4:00 pm–Reading at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, Kresge Auditorium, open to the public