Isabel didn’t meet her father-in-law Omar until he was dead. He was a ghost who appeared on her wedding day.
Her husband Martin never forgave his father for leaving their family when he was a boy, so he wanted nothing to do with him.
Omar just wants to make things right with his family. He can’t be peaceful in death until he does this. So he keeps appearing to his daughter-in-law in the hopes she can reach his son.
Omar returns each year to the Texas border town for the celebratory Day Of The Dead. His spirit is invisible to most. But Isabel feels the need to help. Perhaps the fact that she is a nurse is a factor in this.
Then Martin’s teenage nephew crosses the border and takes refuge in Isabel and Martin’s home. This gives rise to questions about the past and grievances that have gone on for far too long.
At first I didn’t know if I wanted to keep reading this book once I figured out that one of the main characters was a ghost.
But the story of what it feels like not to belong, to be from a country where life is so hard that you will do most anything to leave it, pulled at my heartstrings.
I always like to try and envision myself in someone’s shoes. I feel sad for families who just want a better life for their children. And they want it so badly that they will often take huge risks to try to give them that life.
About The Author:
Born in Lima, Peru, Natalia Sylvester came to the U.S. at age 4. As a child she spent time in South Florida, Central Florida, and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas before her family set roots in Miami.
A former magazine editor, Natalia now works as a freelance writer in Texas and is a faculty member of the low-res MFA program at Regis University.
Her articles have appeared in Latina Magazine, Writer’s Digest, The Austin American-Statesman, and NBCLatino.com.