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Esperanza's Box of Saints Paperback – 23 Jun 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (23 Jun. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330391992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330391993
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,790,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Delightful... Aided by a confessor priest, a pot-smoking judge, a cross-dressing pimp and the clutch of saintly icons she carries everywhere, the unassailable Esperanza is transformed from spiritual naif into woman of the world. And, like the characters she drags along on her quest, the reader is richer for it' Guardian 'A feast of Catholicism, mysticism and superstition... Dark, strangely sensuous and often moving, this novel is a genuine work of magic and beauty' Uncut 'A fairy-tale of hope and riches' Time Out --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Esperanza's Box of Saints is a magical, humorous, and passion-filled odyssey about a beautiful young widow's search for her missing child - a mission that takes her from a humble Mexican village to the rowdy brothels of Tijuana and a rarely seen side of Los Angeles. Rescued from turmoil by her favorite saint, Esperanza embarks on a journey that tests her faith, teaches her the ways of the world, and transforms her from a fervently religious innocent to an independent, sexual, and passionately devout woman. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 15 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
If all of literature was a fruit salad, "Esperanza's Box of Saints" would be the mango. Tasty, succulent and addictive, Maria Amparo Escandon's novel also happens to be, like its fruity counterpart, extremely good for your health. One could even say it's like a vitamin shot to the soul.
The Esperanza of the title is Esperanza Diaz, an irresistable, irrepressible heroine whose quirky outlook on life and fearless willingness to follow her heart can only lead to one thing: adventure. And I do mean adventure! But believe me, this ain't the Boys' Own variety. Tempered with melodrama and salacious gossip, hilarity and mystical coincidence, Esperanza's escapades are more like the Mexican telenovelas (soap operas) to which she so often alludes. Indeed, in this respect, "Esperanza's Box of Saints" brings to mind Isabel Allende's "Eva Luna", another Latin American novel with a soap operatic bent.
Although Escandon's book doesn't reach the heights of Allende's, it sure makes for a rollicking read. One cannot help but be charmed by Esperanza and the outrageously implausible chain of events she sets off whilst baking chicken one fateful evening... Starting with the apparition of San Judas Tadeo, patron saint of desperate cases, which materialises in the grime of her oven window to inform her that her recently deceased daughter Blanca (victim of a botched tonsillectomy) may actually still be alive. Convinced that her little darling must have been kidnapped and sold into a child prostitution racket, Esperanza immediately sets out to rescue Blanca by whatever means possible. And if that involves working 'undercover' in the sex industry, fighting off the amorous advances of innumerable aspiring romeos and a spot of hocus-pocus, then so be it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book. I enjoyed it. Without going into a summary of the book (you can read the back cover for that) I would recommend it to everyone who finds the back cover blurb a lure for further investigation.
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By A Customer on 1 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
I had heard about this book since it came out and finally I read it this weekend. No wonder it has gotten so much attention from the media. No wonder they did a movie (which I can't wait to see.) It's one of the best Latin American novels by and about women I've ever read. "Esperanza's Box of Saints" is fun, entertaining, and it can be read at several levels. It's a must read!
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Format: Paperback
Esperanza's Box of Saints by Maria Amparo Escandon is a seductive tale of searching and yearning that touches on themes as old as the human heart. Esperanza (Hope) Diaz is a young, widowed mother who, armed with little else other than her beauty, her faith, her saints and their apparitions, sets out to search for her daughter, Blanca (Purity). Esperanza's search takes her on a Demeter's descent into the underworld landscape of the brothels and sex palaces of Tijuana and Los Angeles.
This novel is also the tale of the wandering heart, Esperanza, and the soul at rest, her friend Soledad (Solitude, Contemplation). Esperanza leaves peaceful, rural Tlacotaplan to find her daughter and ultimately finds that which she has been missing. Her companera Soledad achieves the same by remaining behind. Esperanza's Box of Saints is filled with the wonderful, real magic of life -- saints' images appearing in oven door grime and rust stains -- as well as the questions of life -- what is love? Loss? Contrition? Absolution? Redemption?
Esperanza's quest is urgent and Odyssean in scope. But as she crosses fronteras into worlds increasingly bizarre and exotic, her situations become at times picaresque, and in her adjustments and solutions, Esperanza displays the resourcefulness of a modern day Lazarillo de Tormes.
Complementing the story is Escandon's skillful telling of the tale. Her language is both poetic and deceptively simple. It is a delight to see that Escandon does not fall into "la girlfriendisma" - the portraying of ethnic men as inherently evil or loutish victimizers.
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Format: Paperback
Cuando vine a los Estados Unidos, me quede maravillado por el contraste y la gran explosion de vida... bastaba mirar por la ventana para ver porque la atraccion y facinacion hacia este Pais, pero al mismo tiempo el dolor el profundo dolor de un pueblo, de la misma humanidad que grita ser escuchada en persona en forma singular. Caminando por la calle me parecia imposible pensar que cada persona, aun desconocida, esconde detras una unica e irrepetible historia. Como hispano, me descubri rico de una propia cultura, parte del entero cuerpo de la humanidad desplegado en el tiempo. La historia de esperanza no es la historia de una sola mujer es la historia de un pueblo de una raza que lucha por sobrevivir, por no perder su inocensia, por ser autentico, por ver mas alla de los echos concretos y seguir creyendo en el bien, en la misma humanidad que nace y renace cada dia. America es magica, no por sus avances ni tecnologia, sino por su constante ejemplo de unidad en la diversidad, asui como cada uno de nosotros somos uno pero muchos al mismo tiempo. Leer este libro, es leer entre las lineas de la historia de un pueblo y creer en el futuro!
Alguien dijo que nuestra vida es como un bello telar, pero rara veces lo vemos por el lado correcto, aveces nos quedamos atrapados en los nudos y remiendos del otro lado, pero ese no es lo real, ese bello tejido compuesto por cada instante de nuestra vida lo entenderemos completamente hasta el final, de la ultima puntada, sin embargo aveces algunos libros nos dejan entrever la belleza, y Maria Escandon en este libro lo logra.
Thanks, thanks for let me see more about me and my people!
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