Still Water Saints by Alex Espinoza
A Novel

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“As perfect as the beads of a rosary.”
–Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“Fresh, magical, beautiful, evocative” says Lisa See, about this wonderful first novel by Alex Espinoza. Still Water Saints chronicles a momentous year in the life of Agua Mansa, a largely Latino town beyond the fringes of Los Angeles and home to the Botánica Oshún, where people come seeking charms, herbs, and candles. Above all, they seek the guidance of Perla Portillo, the shop’s owner. Perla has served the community for years, arming her clients with the tools to overcome all manner of crises, large and small. There is Juan, a man coming to terms with the death of his father; Nancy, a recently married schoolteacher; Shawn, an addict looking for peace in his chaotic life; and Rosa, a teenager trying to lose weight and find herself. But when a customer with a troubled and mysterious past arrives, Perla struggles to help and must confront both her unfulfilled hopes and doubts about her place in a rapidly changing world.

Imaginative, inspiring, lyrical, and beautifully written, Still Water Saints evokes the unpredictability of life and the resilience of the spirit through the journeys of the people of Agua Mansa, and especially of the one woman at the center of it all. Theirs are stories of faith and betrayal, love and loss, the bonds of family and community, and the constancy of change.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Alex Espinoza

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Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico. He came to the United States with his family at the age of two and grew up in suburban Los Angeles. Author of the novel Still Water Saints, he received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. A recipient of the Margaret Bridgman Fellowship in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Espinoza is currently an associate professor of English at California State University, Fresno.
Published January 30, 2007 by Random House. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Still Water Saints

Kirkus Reviews

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Kaleidoscopic portrait of a Southern California town whose nexus is an indomitable botánica owner.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Still Water Saints: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Perla Portillo, 72, owns the unofficial spiritual center of the Southern California Agua Mansa community: at Botánica Oshún, she doles out relics, potions and sage advice to clients c

Oct 09 2006 | Read Full Review of Still Water Saints: A Novel

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