Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Everyone Knows You Go Home” as Want to Read:
Everyone Knows You Go Home
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Everyone Knows You Go Home

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,431 ratings  ·  233 reviews
From the acclaimed author of Chasing the Sun comes a new novel about immigration and the depths to which one Mexican American family will go for forgiveness and redemption.

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
Audiobook, Unabridged, 11 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Brilliance Audio
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Everyone Knows You Go Home, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Everyone Knows You Go Home

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,431 ratings  ·  233 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Everyone Knows You Go Home
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kate Olson
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
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poc-author, favorites
I keep thinking about how much I enjoyed this book

Watch my review:
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
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
When We Read Book Club
4.5 ⭐️

Such a beautiful story! I'll be doing a full review soon on my blog.
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
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
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
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. ...more
Jan 27, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I was not able to get into the story and had to reread the first couple chapters over and over. Somehow my mind went off wondering while I was reading this book, and it took me quite a long time to complete.

One thing was the audio book. After chunk of sentences, there were gaps between. I felt a bit awkward at that.

The story went back and forth of two time lines. I liked Omar and Elda’s story better than Martin and Isabel’s. I did not like Isabel much somehow.
Emily Houston
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful storytelling! I fell completely in love with the characters.
Sachi Argabright
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
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Zoe's Human
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

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. ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: by-the-book
This book took way too long to get where it was going. It should have been a hundred pages shorter.
Serah J Blain
The problem with this book is that it was told through the wrong character. At its heart, it's a rich and moving love story about Elda and Omar, a couple who survive a harrowing journey across the southern US border and then are separated under mysterious circumstances that are slowly revealed throughout the course of the novel. It is a powerfully moving story of forgiveness and healing, and it reveals a lot about the immigrant experience.

But for some reason, the author whips up a character tha
May 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and contemporary, the book anchors at first around a little bit of magical realism - showing how the protagonists deceased father in law visits them on Dias de los muertos- subsequently also her wedding day and returns on each anniversary. I do wish this interesting plot piece followed us a little more as the book progressed. But now, in reflection, I think this might have been on purpose. We bounce between generations of family, and learn how our passed loved ones never fully leave us, an ...more
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.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-voices

“Do you know what keeps the dead from really dying, Isabel? It’s just the memory. Longing. Being held in the hearts of our loved ones.” - Natalia Sylvester, Everyone Knows You Go Home
The story starts when Isabel and Martin are getting married which happens to be on Dia de los Muertos. They are visited by Martin’s father, Omar, and it is then that Martin realizes his father who he hadn’t seen in years is dead. Since Omar was a topic not really talked about by her husband and his family she be
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading Women: 2018 Reading Women Award Fiction Shortlist 8 639 Dec 30, 2018 06:43AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Firefly Letters
  • Children of the Land
  • A Breath Too Late
  • We Are Not From Here
  • Perfect Tunes
  • Deception
  • What Would Frida Do?: A Guide to Living Boldly
  • Transcendent Kingdom
  • Riot Baby
  • The Witches Are Coming
  • The Undocumented Americans
  • Light Changes Everything
  • The Dating Charade
  • Anyone
  • The Magical Language of Others
  • When We Were Vikings
  • Fled
  • Sabrina & Corina: Stories
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Related Articles

Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to relish the latest works from beloved Hispanic and Latinx authors like Isabel Allende, Natalia...
140 likes · 95 comments
“How unfair that we dispose of the indispensable.” 2 likes
“Things here were new, clean, better. But there were days when he felt he had traded his life for somebody else’s and gotten the wrong size.” 1 likes
More quotes…