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Everyone Knows You Go Home

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,040 ratings  ·  176 reviews
An International Latino Book Award winner.

The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he’s already dead—an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day. Her husband, Martin, still unforgiving for having been abandoned by his father years ago, confesses that he never knew the old man had died. So Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar’s family—espe
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Little A
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,040 ratings  ·  176 reviews

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Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a timely novel about immigration and family and the secrets people keep. I really enjoyed reading about the Bravo family and how we learn of the family's past in chapters that go between past and present. The parts of the novel set in the past are actually the strongest, beautifully written, tangible, engaging. The parts set in the present struggle a bit. I wonder if it's the premise, that Isabel, the protagonist, meets her dead father-in-law on her wedding day and he keeps visiting her ...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
I absolutely loved this book but am really struggling with how to describe it. How about a list?
• family
• marriage
• adoption (sort of?)
• immigration
• the harrowing journey to cross the US - Mexico border
• the ties that bind almost-strangers
• magical realism that feels REAL
If you are as upset as I am about how the US treats immigrants to our country right now, definitely add this to your TBR. Oh, and I have to admit that the title confused the heck out of me, but I promise it will be explained i
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Natalia Sylvester has added an important book to the immigration discussion in America with her sophomore novel, Everyone Knows You Go Home.

I appreciated the authenticity of the Mexican culture displayed in this story – in particular the unselfishness exhibited by family when it comes to caring for one another and even stepping in to offer financial resources. It’s never a question of “if,” but rather simply “is” – this is how we do it. (I learned a great deal about this cultural norm from my li
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
After turning the final page in this novel, and being mind-blown at the narrative I was leaving behind, I can completely see why this novel made its way on to the @thereadingwomen 2018 fiction award shortlist!
This is an immigration story told in two timelines—a 1980s narrative about a couple crossing the border from Mexico into Texas, and a contemporary narrative following the legacy of that move on the next generation. The novel opens with a wedding, and the first of the yearly visits by
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The immigrant experience is our summer reading theme at my sons' high school so this felt perfectly appropriate for a reading choice and I have to say that I really liked this novel. In some ways it's a very small story of one family's life in a Texas border town, but of course it's so much more.

It opens with a ghost, which almost put me off, but Omar's character worked for me in the book as a whole. Sylvester tells stories of illegal crossings from the decision to leave Mexico through the assum
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I won a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There's a lot of good stuff in this book about immigration, and family secrets, and grief. I really wanted to like it more, because there are a lot of chapters/scenes that I was moved by, or at least appreciated for the writing. But I really didn't care about Martin and Isabel as a couple (like honestly why are they married?), so a lot of the present day plot didn't really work for me. The 80s plot line is a lot stronger, but the
Robert Sheard
I liked the immigrant story and the examination of family, grief, love, and redemption. And I usually like dual timeline stories where the timelines come together in the end. But the dual timelines became so fragmented at times, and the cast of major and minor characters grew so large that it was hard to keep all the interrelationships clear for me, and that ultimately affected my enjoyment of the larger story.

My favorite scene is the one from which the title is drawn. That one hit me.
Candace Hernandez
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was immediately captivated by the story-telling. I felt connected to so many of the characters as well as the Día de los Muertos aspect of the novel. The characters were complex and lived messy, realistic lives. Elda perfectly embodied my own grandmother - the stubbornness and sass were spot on!

It’s no secret that I love when stories alternate between past and present - and this novel did it so well. I will admit that I felt a stronger connection to the story set in the past. The love that Oma
A solid story about family, immigration, love, finding yourself in a situation, a place you never thought you'd be in, finding your way out, redefining who you thought you were, starting over. I loved the flashbacks better than the forward story which at times felt a little emotionally thin, the characters actions and responses to situations a bit on the melodramatic side. Ending felt a tad rushed considering how many major emotional events occurred. Overall, though, a positive reading experienc ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 ⭐️

Such a beautiful story! I'll be doing a full review soon on my blog.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Natalia Sylvester has written a really satisfying book that talks about a really main topic of Humanity " IMMIGRATION ".
This book has touched my heart and my mind as the writings of the Author are merged so well in these pages!
EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME focuses on family, immigration and Mexican culture!
It is a family saga in the magical realism genre examining the secrets we keep.
The story is so inspiring, moving and beautifully written, you must check the details that the Author merges in a
Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Need to think on this one a bit. Review to come.
Kaytee Cobb
Loved this dual timeline immigrant story about the actual journey and the life in a new home. We've got strong Dia de Los Muertos themes throughout, and a bit of ghosty-ness. Excellent.
Emily Houston
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful storytelling! I fell completely in love with the characters.
Sachi Argabright
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been wanting to pick this book up for so long, and I finally carved out the time to read it. I don’t know what took me so long!! This book is totally worth the time, and I wish I would’ve picked it up sooner!

EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME begins on Isabel and Martin’s wedding day where they are visited my the ghost of Martin’s father. (You read that correctly! What an awesome start to the story, right?) As the couple celebrates their anniversary on the Day of the Dead each year, Omar continues
This was a great novel to end the year! Sylvester is able to weave a tapestry of time, secrets, and love in the Bravo family alongside Isabel, who marries into the family on the first page. And then her dead father-in-law shows up. Here, I'll just quote the great first sentence since I loved it so much:

"They were married on the Day of the Dead, el Día de los Muertos, which no one gave much thought to in all the months of planning, until the bride's deceased father-in-law showed up in the car fol
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This was exceptional. Beautifully written (but not overwrought) and full of insights about family, love, immigration, parenthood, aging, and more. My copy is littered with Post-It flags marking favorite passages.

While the story is compelling regardless of time and circumstances, I think there's no denying an extra level of relevance right now, given our country's discourse around immigration, particularly along the southern border. I appreciated the insight -- why and how people cross -- and ma
Much like a few other books that have simultaneously broken my heart and kept me invested in what's coming next, Everyone Knows You Go Home follows multiple generations as they navigate the intricacies of the untold stories and connections within their familial ties, beloved and fraught alike. Natalia Sylvester is a beautiful storyteller and the way she weaves language is artful and compelling in ways that often left me struck as I turned the pages. The manner this story is told can be confusing ...more
Zoe's Human
Everyone Knows You Go Home was beautifully written and moving. It is a family saga in the magical realism genre examining the secrets we keep. Along the way, it also looks at the struggles of undocumented immigrants, what they go through to get to the United States, and why they do it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway. Many thanks to all involved in providing me with this opportunity.
Inkish Kingdoms
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: society-in-paper

The cover resembles the desert thousands of people walk day and night to get a better life. A multi-color desert depicting all the people whose histories got interlaced through the years. This story moved me deeply not only for the raw experience of crossing the border but also, for all of those whose last sun they saw rising or falling was in the desert.

Check out the review in my blog!
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the way the supernatural is handled in this book. It's just there, startling perhaps but as much an ordinary part of life as the relationships between the characters and the characters' daily struggles. It's solid, engaging, and has just the right balance of conceal and reveal. It's a wonderful book.
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)
amazing narrator, beautiful story telling by the author. Just finished this a.m. and will work on a full review to follow shortly.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: by-the-book
This book took way too long to get where it was going. It should have been a hundred pages shorter.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book for my bookstagram book club, @words.between.worlds. I don't think I would have picked up this book if it wasn't for them and that reality kind of makes me sad. Because this book rings so truly to my family and probably many other families living in America.

Isabel sees her husband's father for the first time on her wedding day (which also happened to be the Day of the Dead). However, what she was seeing wasn't the corporeal version of him. Instead, she was being visited by
This story initially centers around a young newly-wed couple (Isabel and Martin) and how her father-in-law’s ghost appears every year on the Day Of the Dead, trying to communicate and make amends with his family members who are not able to see him. In their family, Omar has not been spoken about since he seemingly abandoned them many years ago. The sudden appearance of Eduardo, Martin’s cousin gradually changes their perception and different POVs and timelines reveal how a past secret and it’s c ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This timely, heartfelt novel about immigration and the sacrifices and difficult choices that immigrants make out of love for their families should be required reading. At a time when immigrants are too often reduced to numbers and stereotypes, Everyone Knows You Go Home highlights the humanity of undocumented immigrants.

Natalia Sylvester's prose flows beautifully and she deftly guides the reader back and forth in time and across the U.S.-Mexico border, with chapters alternating between storyline
Olga Gamer
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This incredibly well-written, fictional but relevant novel, focuses on family, immigration, and Mexican culture. It’s also an effective character study and discussion of trauma and how we carry it with us.

On Dia de Muertos, Isabel’s dead father-in-law, Omar, appears on her wedding day seeking her help to obtain redemption with his family. What follows is a look back on how Omar and his family ended up in Texas and the mysterious circumstances under which he disappeared. Complicating Isabel and
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-bookshelf
Such finely drawn characters with realistic reactions and feelings. It took time to connect with the current story line of Isa and Martin. They seemed oddly matched and pieced together. As the years passed and their lives grew complicated, I felt like the truest elements of each character came forth and made me fall for them.

The chapters of Elda and Omar, with their struggle to leave Mexico and dig roots in Texas, were splendid with warmth and sincerity. I almost wanted to crawl and stay in the
Caroline (readtotheend on IG)
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a beautifully written book and is just so relevant to our society and world right now in 2018. The concept of "home" as well as issues of identity are themes that stood out to me in the reading of this book. As a 2 year old immigrant myself, first a resident alien and then naturalized citizen, I've thought many times about how the tides would turn if they decided to nullify or take away my citizenship. Where is "home"? When people ask me that, I often think of Chicago first, not Korea, ...more
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
(Follow @morganreadsalot on Instagram for more reviews)
“People place too much trust in things working out the way they should, and never enough on the chance that the most meaningless conditions could change everything.”

Everyone Knows You Go Home is a deep dive into just how far the effects of secrets and lies can ripple out across an entire family, sometimes in unexpected ways. It’s also an intense look at the things we do protect those we love, and the unintended consequences that even our bes
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Reading Women: 2018 Reading Women Award Fiction Shortlist 8 634 Dec 30, 2018 06:43AM  

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Born in Lima, Peru, Natalia Sylvester came to the US at age four and grew up in Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and now lives in Texas. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature, Latina magazine, McSweeney's Publishing, and the Austin American-Statesman.

Natalia’s first novel, CHA

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