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Book Review

The Joys of Luck

In her fourth novel — A Handbook to Luck — García examines how immigrants interact.

En español | Cristina García, acclaimed author of Dreaming in Cuban, once again delivers in A Handbook to Luck. Best known for exploring Cuban American life, García successfully widens her scope in her fourth novel to examine how other immigrants interact.

The stories open in 1968, when we meet the young, unrelated characters: Cuba-born Enrique, living in Southern California with his magician father; Marta, supporting her family in San Salvador’s slums; and Leila, an upper-middle-class girl in Tehran, watching her brother’s slow death. The narrative spans 20 years and alternates among the three perspectives. “I wanted to chart how odd coincidences and roads not taken can completely alter lives,” García says.

We connect with Enrique, Marta, and Leila through many of the universal struggles, sacrifices, and joys that define their lives—and ours. … Back to Article

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