- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Grove Press; Main edition (2 Feb. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1611855365
- ISBN-13: 978-1611855364
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.2 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,014,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Veins of the Ocean Paperback – 2 Feb 2017
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Engel has an eye for detail. She knows how to drown the reader in a sense of enchantment... She writes exquisite moments. -- Roxane Gay * The Nation * This, mercifully, is a book as concerned with transforming the human condition as it is with the unflinching examination of its wounds... In short, it is our world, mirrored back to us, revealed anew. * San Francisco Chronicle * Engel's voice is lyrical, in a no nonsense sort of way. Her descriptive powers have improved greatly; she has an all-seeing eye that misses nothing of importance for the reader. * Miami Herald * Beautifully wrought and vibrant, The Veins of the Ocean is a compelling meditation on guilt, nature, redemption, and the immigrant experience. * Buzzfeed * Patricia Engel's sumptuous second novel...is no wild revenge tragedy; instead, it examines a tragedy's aftermath... Engel writes with a raw realism that elevates her characters' mundane existence - their failures and failings, hopes and dreams, pleasures and pains - to something majestic. * New York Times * The Veins of the Ocean is an indelible novel of loss, grief, and redemption. Patricia Engel has created a world that is at once sensuous and dangerous, authentic and poetic, harrowing and hopeful. -- Laila Lalami In a novel that is vitally relevant today when the word refugee has such loaded connotations, Engel delivers a pulsating . . . and deeply introspective take on how family, love, and guilt can both 'chain us together' and set us free. * Booklist * Engel is able to find a lightness in a disturbing story to carry the reader through the novel... Engel has crafted a detailed, rich world of vivid atmosphere and imagery . . . A dark comedy with unexpected heart. * Kirkus *
The extraordinary new novel from award-winning author, Patricia Engel, The Veins of the Ocean is a heartrending story of one woman's devotion to her death row-convicted brother and her journey away from a painful pastSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Veins of the Ocean deals with issues of death, loss, immigration, poverty, guilt and love. The plot itself seemed quite slow to me, but the author is very skilled in evoking a real sense of detail in her writing which kept me interested. The dark subject matter is countered by the beautiful descriptive passages and the sense of joy and freedom that Reina finds from swimming with Nesto. There was a lot of dialogue about traditions and religious beliefs, but I found that the use of Spanish phrases throughout was a bit distracting.
Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
The not-so-good: the flashbacks, told in past tense, are too numerous and lengthy. They both explain and take you out of the story. In fact, I would say there are two stories going on at the same time. Reina's present life, which is told in first person, present tense; and the flashbacks, which are, I think, meant to explain why she is who she is and what she needs to do to change. However, it's just too much.
Then on top of that, there's a third narrative going on: myth. There is a myth to parallel every other scene. They're good myths, in some cases, like after Nesto and Reina take action (don't want to spoil it), but it's distracting. I found the pace a little too slow, and have to admit I began skimming toward the last third of the book. I get the feeling Ms. Engel put a lot of effort into this book, and it's beautiful, but it might have benefited from some trimming.