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La Santisima

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Sebastian’s friend Carlos claims that La Santa Muerte watches over the poor, the ones that the Church abandons. He promises Sebastian that La Santa Muerte will be his patron saint, that she will protect him and grant his wishes.

Death comes for us all. Keep her as your friend.

Sebastian is disappointed as prayer after prayer is rejected by the saint, and he loses faith. One
ebook, 21 pages
Published 2013
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shorts
The story is available here:

Not at all what I expected... but beautifully written short story about a modern Mexican family with a slight supernatural ‘flavour’. It is a shame it is so short though!
Melica Bloom
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“La Santisima” is a heart-wrenching short story that explores the social and emotional depths of immigration. The story is brutally honest and painful to read, and I appreciate these qualities. From a Western lens many of us are blinded or numb to the truths of immigration, but Frohock makes the story relatable to all audiences. The text could serve as an autobiography for the thousands of immigrants who don’t complete their journey, and for their families who are left wondering about their ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A haunting and beautifully written short - the kind of piece to really make you think. I loved it.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hey-shorty, fantasy
Rating 4.5
Excellent short story. Just the nudge I needed to tackle Miserere: An Autumn Tale.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
A freely available short story from author Frohock that, like her Miserere, centers itself around religion without becoming itself a religious fiction. The elevation of La Santa Muerte here is an intriguing way to acknowledge Mexican culture for unfamiliar readers, and Forhock's ability to create new avenues into exploring religion -- here tied to immigration -- is a welcome perspective.
Stefan Fergus
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story, very-well composed - relevant socially, politically and culturally. Also worth reading the author's afterword, about how the story came about.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful and culturally relevant story.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Skillfully written short story with lovely prose, great characters, and a lot of emotional impact.
Oct 31, 2014 added it
La Santisima is a fictional view on a very moral social aspect affecting people today. Frohock made it clear of her intensions in her afterward that she wanted to portray a forgotten portion of people; the lower class immigrants. While showcasing this group of people she shows us the humanity of everything. Touching upon the Narcos and the influence of gangs in their society reminded me of the prevalence of gang culture in America in the 1920's and the economic reliance the country had on them. ...more
Ambica Mehndiratta
I found this story very interesting. It was a little different from what I have read before because it incorporated darker elements such as La Santa Muerte, yet also balanced it with concepts such as faith. While reading the story, I found the idea of faith to be slightly hidden behind such darkness which I thought was ironic. The family had faith in Jorge to cross the border first and prepare for a life in America where more and better opportunities were offered. That belief in Jorge was also ...more
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Theresa Frohock’s “La Santisima” left me speechless after reading it. It was an otherworldly tale, and yet extremely relatable – the issue of Latin American immigrants who die trying to cross into the land of the free is all too present in our lives, and yet for many of us it is often overlooked because we live so far north of the Mexico border. The element of the supernatural, though, was what made this story so enticing and enjoyable to me. Just the name of Sebastian’s icon, La Santa Muerte, ...more
Julia Jones
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
In "La Santisima" by Teresa Frohock, illegal immigration is discussed through the lens of a family in desperate need of a better financial situation. Frohock, as stated in her afterword essay, was not trying to fit the characters into a mold of a story that would market well to an audience. She was trying to be real, raw, and create authentic characters. She was also not trying to give an answer on the topic of immigration. She was attempting to depict a situation in which, on a deeper level, ...more
Mikey Martin
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Throughout La Santisima, La Santa Muerte is described as an idol, Sebastian, and later his sister Lucia, trust in. The children both pray to the idol and worship it as a holy entity. She is believed to be a sort of guardian angel guiding them through their perpetual struggles. Rather than guiding them to prosperous lives, however, La Santa Muerte coaxes her worshipers to their deaths. After pleading to see their older brother Jorge again, La Santa Muerte answers Sebastian and Lucia’s prayers, ...more
The Francophone  Girl
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked the story “La Santisima”. As an immigrant myself, I was able to relate to the characters in the story. Just like Hector, Jorge’s brother, my grandmother had to leave our homeland to come to the United States in search of a better life so that she could financially support my mother and I. The author, Teresa Frohock, did a remarkable job in terms of showing how cruel and unfair life can be in undeveloped countries. Jorge’s family were really poor. In fact, his sisters, Ana and ...more
Katie Culik
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
From the tragedy of a lost father, to the bravery of his sons, this was a story that instantly drew me in, opened my mind, and touched my heart. The context of the story, Mexican immigration, is so perfectly fitting for each moral implication the story holds, and these morals were the reason the story really hit home for me. When the story opens, the pain and suffering of the family is immediately exposed. We hear of Lucía and the family’s inability to afford her the medical attention she needs. ...more
Stephen Perich
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
La Santisima is a well-written short story which looks at a financially struggling family pushed to having to cross the border to fund a surgery for their young girl's curved spine. In the afterword, the author describes that her initial plan for the story included a lot of action which would have attracted more readers. However, her idea shifted towards a more real depiction of a family in trouble. I really enjoyed Frohock's writing style. We don't get a lot of description of the setting. ...more
Tim Donahoe
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
“La Santisima” by Teresa Frohock is an excellent portrayal of a family’s relationship with death. Each family member’s interaction with this entity, portrayed as La Santa Muerte in the story, is both unique and shared. Though the each character’s relationship with death is individual in a number of ways, some things are shared between all three main characters. For example, Sebastian, Lucia, and Jorge are all assisted in some way by La Santa Muerte. Lisa gain strength from her closeness with ...more
Erica Scarpati
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sebastian, one of the characters in the short story, “La Santisima”, focuses on his small statue of La Santa Muerte. He uses her as a guide and for protection. In Mexico, people celebrate Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead. This holiday commemorates the lives that family members have lost. La Santa Muerte is present during this holiday because she is supposed to help recently deceased souls cross over into heaven. Frohock alludes to and creates La Santa Muerte as a main character in her story ...more
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
In La Santisima, Teresa Frohock takes an interesting look at the moral implications of illegal immigration, but from the other side of the border. As Americans we are often fed a line by the media describing the burden illegal immigrants place on our society, it is rare that these migrants are ever painted in a humaninzing light. It is even rarer still, that their struggles are discussed openly and the danger these people face is confronted. Though, this is exactly what Frohock does in her tale. ...more
Swathi Madala
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this story. It was refreshing to read a story that described the hardships even people with the best intentions are forced to face. Every other story I have read or movie I have seen regarding crossing the border have typically resulted in successes. Despite the beginning of the story foreshadowing that Jorge would be dead, I was still heartbroken when he did later on because I was that immersed in the story and its series of events. This close-knit family does not let any ...more
Pratibha Dhakshinamurthy
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
What I really enjoyed about this story was the strong familial bond among the family members and how they acted together to overcome the obstacles they faced. The family did not let them being poor come in the way of seeking medical attention for Lucia and I found it very admirable that the family sought to work in the US for a couple of years in order to pay for a surgery that would make Lucia more comfortable with her physical health conditions. The fact that the eldest brother, Jorge was ...more
Shannon N.
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Authors are uniquely qualified to use stories as a way to make readers reconsider, if only for a moment, their perspectives on the world, and I think Frohock accomplished that with this story. I really enjoyed the afterward as it compared Frohock's initial intentions with the resulting story as a product of her extensive research. It's important to note that she made what could perhaps be considered an unpopular choice in writing to send a message instead of to make money, which I think is ...more
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“La Santisima” is an eye-opening story that perfectly captures the struggles of illegal immigrants and their reasons behind crossing the border. As people on the other side of the border we aren’t told the reasons behind the illegal immigration, only that it is bad, partially due to our media. But this fictional story can easily be the reality of many families. These families are forced to live in, as Frohock puts it, “conditions of…poverty and fear”. With no other options left, they decide ...more
Sam Cole
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Teresa Frohock’s “La Santisima” describes the struggles that are faced by a poor family whose matriarch is a widow and sister is quickly becoming crippled. The protagonist, Sebastian, has a bit of a temper and it is somewhat controlled by his prayers to La Santa Muerte, an icon that is his mother would disapprove of. When the family decides that one of the children must cross the border in search of better opportunities, Sebastian and his crippled sister, Lucia, pray to La Santa Muerte. Their ...more
Emma Huntington
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing

“La Santisima” is a haunting and highly emotional tale, and one of my new favorite short stories. Frohock takes a culturally relevant topic (illegal immigration to the US) and weaves an enthralling story of family and loss, while adding an element of fantasy. She creates a group of genuinely good people who love and care about each other (Sebastian’s family), and puts them in a terrible position, one that makes the reader feel for them deeply. Right from the beginning, I felt an emotional
Allison Koehler
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Frohock displays in this story just how eloquent of a writer she is. The language that she uses puts us in the street with Sebastian, Lucia, and Jorge. As Sebastian chases the man who was rude to them in the street, he turns to look at Lucia. "I whirled and met her hard glare. I saw myself reflected in her eyes, a boy made of rags and brittle shards of fury. Shame merely fueled the fires of helplessness that burned my gut." This is a great example of her articulate writing, bringing Lucia's ...more
Oct 30, 2014 rated it liked it
This short story is well written that includes vivid descriptions of the relationships between the characters. While reading La Santisima, it is very clear that Lucia has a strong heart. By carefully reading her as a character of life and death, it is clear that she is the center point of the story. Of course, Jorge and Sebastian are essential, but Lucia molds the events in the story. Lucia is not afraid of La Santa Muerta and has communicated with her during her dreams. Lucia has “lived on the ...more
John Arcidiacono
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
La Santisima was a wonderfully written story by Teresa Frohock that showed a true family that is trying to beat poverty. The families daughter is very sick and is on the verge of dying if she does not get the money for her sugary. Jorge the strong brother who also plays a father figure role in this story sacrifices himself to be the first one to try and cross the border in search of more money to help his sister. Jorge is an inspiring character that I really liked because he was willing to ...more
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
La Santisima is a tear jerking story about the hardships of poverty, the love of family, and the coming of age. Frohock masterfully combines all three of these elements into one well written peace that was not only easy to get through but also very enjoyable. The coming of age in the story and the fear of not being able to live up to predetermined expectations is something that anyone can relate to, and so the reader can easily sympathize with the character of Sebastian. Jorge and Lucia are also ...more
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Raised in a small town in North Carolina, Teresa Frohock learned to escape to other worlds through the fiction collection of her local library. She has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. She lives in North Carolina, where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.
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