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The Book of Lost Saints

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  25 reviews
An evocative multigenerational Cuban American family story of revolution, loss, violence, and family bonds

Marisol vanished during the Cuban Revolution, her fate unknown and lost to time. Now, haunted by atrocities long-forgotten, her foul-mouthed spirit visits her nephew, Ramon, in modern-day New Jersey. Her hope: That her presence will prompt her descendant to
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Imprint
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
The Book of Lost Saints is a mesmerizing book that sucked me deep into the heart of a story that brought forth a world of emotions inside me that I’m still trying to process. Told in a 3rd person omnipresent point of view, this novel follows Ramón as he continually receives messages from a long lost tía who vanished without a trace after the Cuban revolution. As he gets glimpses of her rocky past in Cuba, he feels compelled to investigate to see what happened to her while also learning more abou ...more
Revolution asks that its children put not only their own lives on the line, but the lives of all their friends and loved ones as well. It's a wide, sweeping trap, an ever-yawning crevice in the earth.

4.5 stars

I don't think this book could feel more personal if I had written it myself. I am half convinced Older pried this story from the hearts of Cuban-Americans to lay bare for the rest of the world to see. It is a love letter, a haunting, and utterly unforgettable.

Ramón and Marisol's journey le
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
The Book of Lost Saints is a Cuban family story with a heart firmly planted in the world of magical realism. Ramón, one of two central characters, is a hospital security guard by day and an exceptionally talented DJ by night. The other central character is Marisol, an aunt Ramón never met, but whose spirit is now haunting his dreams. Marisol disappeared in the aftermath of the Cuban revolution, and now she wants Ramón to uncover her story to put her spirit at peace. Doing this, however, is a sin ...more
4-4.5 stars

Wow, what an ending! This was no an easy book to read, partly because it was hard to figure out what was going on at the beginning, and partly because of the subject matter. This book covers the time surrounding the Cuban Revolution and moves towards the present where Ramon is being visited by the spirit and memories of his dead aunt Marisol as they both try to figure out what happened to her. This was a subject that I didn't know much about and like all war zones/dictator
Didi Chanoch
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some things which you are likely to encounter in a DJO book. There will be music. There will be complex family stuff (stuff: dynamics, relationships, magical legacies). There will probably be a medical professional. Politics will likely play a part. And a ghost.

The Book of Lost Saints has all of these, and yet it is an entirely different work from Older's previous. It is a mix of magical realism, urban fantasy, historical fiction, multi-generational family drama. The horror here is no
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-So if you ever wonder what we, the disappeared, dream of in our darkest hours, know that it is you: those who remain- Marisol.

Daniel Jose Older has delivered a story of a family, secrets, revolution, betrayal, survival, loss and love.

Marisol vanished in the days following the Cuban revolution; now a part of her has returned to uncover what really happened to her. With a bond that transcends the physical, Marisol uses a loved one to search for the truth.

Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slated for release on November 9th, 2019, The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older is a haunting and intriguing book that readers are going to love.

The story centers around Marisol, a spirit who is desperate to find out what happened to her in the past and how she died. She remembers fragment by fragment of her history and infuses those memories into the dreams of her nephew Ramón, a DJ. Ramón keeps a book of all his vivid dreams, but when he starts asking questions, his family e
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Thanks to partner NetGalley for the digital ARC of Daniel José Older’s The Book of Lost Saints in exchange for an honest review. The book releases Tuesday, November 5.

“They came in boats and airplanes, armed with false documents and holy terror and a grinding wariness of what they would find. . . . They came and left behind family members clutching photographs, and promises to send money and frequent letters and powdered milk or vacuum cleaners or whatever it was impossible to find t
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Book of Lost Saints is ghost story of sorts. One that spans generations and a revolution and a bifurcation of cultures. The story is narrated by Marisol and the first few chapters definitely take a little to get used to as I figured out that I was seeing the world through the eyes of a spirit. The once-removed view is important because it enables the reader to experience the past and the present through this single eye, but the problem is that Marisol doesn’t remember some key details of her ...more
Susie Dumond
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ramon is a hospital security guard by day and a DJ by night in post-9/11 New Jersey. He never met his aunt Marisol, as she disappeared during the Cuban Revolution before he was born. But once her spirit starts following him around and rediscovering her own story through his dreams, he must uncover what happened to her in order to set her free.

Told through the eyes of Marisol's spirit, this is a haunting, lyrical tale of family history lost and found. I love the narrative choice of us
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book took a few chapters to take root and set fire to my brain but when it did, hoo boy that flame was bright. This isn't a ghost story, it's a spirit story. Some people look up their family on ancestry web sites or do the DNA tests just for a lark, but for the rest of us, the story isn't in some database or lab results. Family history is complicated, doubly so with immigration, exponentially so because of a revolution. The Book of Lost Saints unfolded in an intricately beautiful manner tha ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Something touches me. Moves me. It’s jolting, a flicker of sharp light inside all my weighty depths. I look up from the empty chair and see the sky. The sky is flecked with dots of white.” This passage from The Book of Lost Saints is indicative of Daniel José Older’s evocative writing, which is reminiscent of  Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende’s magical realism.

This novel is told from the point of view of Marisol, a mysterious wraith-like character who can weave through the past and th
Kathleen Gray
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Know in advance that the spirit of Marisol is narrating this book and that there's a fair amount of magical realism and then surrender to the pleasures of an unusual quest. Ramon, who works at a hospital and as a dj, is haunted by Marisol, his aunt who died during the Cuban revolution. They never met so he's not sure why this is happening and now he's compelled to discover the truth about her, his family (especially his mother), and, to be a little dramatic, his place in the world. His explorati ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Book of Lost Saints is the beautifully told story of a family and a revolution that alters the lives of generations. Ramon is a young man, a DJ, he’s in love and oh yeah, the aunt he has never met, narrates her life in his dreams. The narrative voice is Aunt Marisol who is looking for answers as to what happened to her. Marisol has been part of a family secret, one his mother (Nilda) will not speak about. Marisol uses her nephew’s curiosity to motivate him in her search for her final outcome ...more
Diane Payne
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wish I wasn't such a curmudgeon about spirits and ghosts, but I understand why the author chose this mode to tell the story about our main character, who returns to discover how she died. Readers learn a lot about life under Castro in Cuba and about Marisol, the spirit, and her family connections. Older is an excellent writer, which is why I read the entire novel on a long flight. I enjoyed the elements of mysticism flowing through the questioning of what happened to Marisol and the political ...more
Shari Suarez
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ramon, a security guard by day and a talented DJ by night is being haunted by an aunt he's never met. Marisol disappeared during the Cuban Revolution but her soul can't rest until she figures out what happened to her.
Ramon travels to Cuba and back to New Jersey to find out the truth about his aunt.
This book was mesmerizing and really brings home the trauma that the Cuban people have endured since the Revolution. A beautiful piece of magical realism in a haunting setting.
Nica Borders
Please read this book. It is a beautiful song of revolution, forgiveness, love, and the mostly whole children of trauma victims. I don't want to say that much, to be honest. Or maybe I can't. This is a book that wakens only emotions in me and I don't have words for them. I'm sad it's over. It made me feel like I was home in a strange world.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This book, The Book of Lost Saints, covers many topics, although it was quite tough to follow in the beginning, it leads you to; the Cuban Revolution, ghosts, spirits looking for answers, Ramon > his Aunt Marisol and lots of curiosity. Read when you have time to concentrate and can take it all in. It's quite a curious fantasy. Thank you #netgalley #thebookoflostsaints #imprintbooks
Galen Strickland
Full review to follow. Another that I'm not likely to be able to do justice, but I will make the attempt.

A contender for my favorite novel of the year -
Julia Marie
Nov 04, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i started reading an e-arc and then realized i needed to just get a final copy so here i am, waiting for my last minute pre-order.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for an eARC of The Book of Lost Saints. I was hooked by this book from the beginning. The twists in the plot line kept me intrigued and wanting to find out what happened.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review forthcoming
Sep 22, 2019 marked it as didnt-finish  ·  review of another edition
I do not like magical realism, so I decided to shelve this for a while and read something I like.
Thank you NetGalley for the free ARC.

At first, I was really lost in the book and could not figure out what was happening to Ramon, then I realized that Marisol was a ghost and I started catching on. Marisol has disappeared during the Cuban Revolution and does not remember what happened to her, so she haunts her nephew Ramon and tries to get him to help her. This is an interesting history of the Cuban resistance
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I've Never Won a Giveaway 1 1 Nov 10, 2019 09:57PM  
Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Young Adult series the Shadowshaper Cypher (Scholastic), the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series (Penguin), and the upcoming Middle Grade sci-fi adventure Flood City (Scholastic). He won the International Latino Book Award and has been nominated for the Kirkus Prize, the Mythopoeic Award, the Locus Award, the Andre Norton Award, ...more

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