Tree of Sighs
2012 Premio Aztlán Literary Prize
After the sudden and tragic death of her parents, Altagracia faces an uncertain future with a bitter and secretive grandmother. When the two sink into poverty, the young girl ends up with a cruel woman who takes her to the United States, changes her name to Grace, and puts her to work as a full-time domestic servant. Tree of Sighs is the story of Grace's journey to uncover her past as she straddles two cultures in the search for her own identity. After escaping servitude and imprisonment, Grace endures life on the streets and a succession of jobs, and she eventually lands in a comfortable marriage. But a phone call from a person in her past sets her on a journey to the border, where she meets a man who holds the key to her past, learns the truth about her grandmother, and ultimately finds herself.
“I have been following Lucrecia Guerrero's writing for several years with great pleasure and fascination. Tree of Sighs takes her art to a whole new level. Full, alive, and stately. This novel really delivers.”—Luis A. Urrea, author of The Hummingbird's Daughter
"Beautifully strange! Lucrecia Guerrero's Tree of Sighs is a wonderful odyssey that explores provocative and complex questions about personal, familial, and cultural indentity as well as the shifting legacy of secrets. No serious reader of contemporary fiction can afford to miss this novel—filled with deep insight, humor, and a graceful lyricism, populated by characters worthy of Dickens, and propelled by a narrative as thrilling as it is profound." —K. L. Cook, author of Last Call and The Girl from Charnelle
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