“Lush and entrancing, steeped in love and sorrow, faith and myth…a gorgeous writer…She knows the story she is telling, inside and out. She knows the story and its unfathomable depths and so that’s how we experience reading this novel-fully, deeply, like an ocean.”-Roxane Gay, Book of the Month
From award-winning author, Patricia Engel, The Veins of the Ocean is the profound and riveting story of a young woman’s journey away from her family’s painful past towards redemption and a freer future. Set in the vibrant coastal communities of Miami, the Florida Keys, Havana, and Cartagena, The Veins of the Ocean is a wrenching exploration of what happens when life tests the limits of compassion, and a stunning and unforgettable portrait of fractured lives finding solace in the beauty and power of the natural world, and in one another.
Reina Castillo is the alluring young woman whose beloved brother is serving a death sentence for a crime that shocked the community, throwing a baby off a bridge-a crime for which Reina secretly blames herself. With her brother’s death, though devastated and in mourning, Reina is finally released from her prison vigil. Seeking anonymity, she moves to a sleepy town in the Florida Keys where she meets Nesto Cadena, a recently exiled Cuban awaiting with hope the arrival of the children he left behind in Havana. Through Nesto’s love of the sea and capacity for faith, Reina comes to understand her own connections to the life-giving and destructive forces of the ocean that surrounds her as well as its role in her family’s troubled history, and in their companionship, begins to find freedom from the burden of guilt she carries for her brother’s crime.
Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, A New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the International Latino Book Award