The Caregiver
by Samuel Park


Overview - A FALL 2018 HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SELECTION BY * PEOPLE * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * VULTURE * CHICAGO TRIBUNE * THE MILLIONS * FAST COMPANY * SEATTLE TIMES * ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH * BOOKPAGE * BOOKRIOT * CONDE NAST TRAVELER *

" A] luminous mother-daughter saga."-- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

"Lovely and heartbreaking."-- PEOPLE

"A beautiful testament to Park's] extraordinary talents as a storyteller...A ferocious page-turner."-- KIRKUS REVIEWS (STARRED REVIEW)

From the critically acclaimed author of This Burns My Heart comes a gorgeous, emotionally wise tale about a daughter who unearths the hidden life of her enigmatic mother.  Read more...


 
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More About The Caregiver by Samuel Park
 
 
 
Overview
A FALL 2018 HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SELECTION BY * PEOPLE * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * VULTURE * CHICAGO TRIBUNE * THE MILLIONS * FAST COMPANY * SEATTLE TIMES * ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH * BOOKPAGE * BOOKRIOT * CONDE NAST TRAVELER *

" A] luminous mother-daughter saga."--ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

"Lovely and heartbreaking."--PEOPLE

"A beautiful testament to Park's] extraordinary talents as a storyteller...A ferocious page-turner."--KIRKUS REVIEWS (STARRED REVIEW)

From the critically acclaimed author of This Burns My Heart comes a gorgeous, emotionally wise tale about a daughter who unearths the hidden life of her enigmatic mother.

Mara Alencar's mother Ana is her moon, her sun, her stars. Ana, a struggling voice-over actress, is an admirably brave and recklessly impulsive woman who does everything in her power to care for her little girl. With no other family or friends her own age, Ana eclipses Mara's entire world. They take turns caring for each other--in ways big and small.

Their arrangement begins to unravel when Ana becomes involved with a civilian rebel group attempting to undermine the city's torturous Police Chief, who rules over 1980s Rio de Janeiro with terrifying brutality. Ana makes decisions that indelibly change their shared life. When Mara is forced to escape, she emigrates to California as an undocumented immigrant and finds employment as a caregiver to a young woman dying of stomach cancer. It's here that she begins to grapple with her turbulent past and starts to uncover vital truths--about her mother, herself, and what it means to truly take care of someone.

Told with vivid imagery and subtle poignancy, The Caregiver is a moving and profound story that asks us to investigate who we are--as children and parents, immigrants and citizens, and ultimately, humans looking for vital connectivity

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501178771
  • ISBN-10: 1501178776
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: September 2018
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.88 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > General
Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age

 
BookPage Reviews

The Caregiver

It’s bittersweet to crack open The Caregiver, Samuel Park’s long-awaited follow-up to his luminous, romantic epic set in Korea, This Burns My Heart (2011). Park died of stomach cancer in 2017, so his second full-length novel is also his last. It’s a tender mother-daughter story that alternates between 1980s Brazil and present- day Los Angeles, two places that Park—who was born in Brazil and lived in Los Angeles for years—knew well.

Mara Alencar left her native Brazil in the 1980s at age 16, fleeing that country’s turmoil. Ten years later, she’s living in Los Angeles in a tiny apartment with two other Brazilian expats and drifting through her days as a caregiver to a cancer-stricken woman in Bel Air. A wealthy 40-something, the divorced and childless Kathryn calls Mara her adopted daughter and jokes about leaving her house to Mara when she dies. Despite this professed affection, Kathryn knows little about the woman who sees to her comfort on a daily basis.

Mara likes it that way. She’s trying to forget her past—and her brave and impetuous mother, Ana, who spurred Mara’s escape to the U.S. thanks to her connections with revolutionaries. Although Mara hasn’t seen or spoken to her mother since leaving Brazil, Ana haunts everything Mara does and every choice she makes.

As chapters alternate between Mara’s past in Brazil and her present-day life in California, Park explores what it means to care for someone and the beauty of human resilience and survival. Though the title most obviously refers to Mara, it’s also a callback to Ana, a woman full of fierce affection for her daughter. “I would be loved again and again,” thinks Mara, “and it was because she taught me how.”

 

This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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