Vigil: A Novel

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Simon and Schuster, Jul 21, 2009 - Fiction - 432 pages
1 Review
When a nanny from war-torn El Salvador moves in with a wealthy American family, the result is an inspiring story about the power of love to cross cultural boundaries.

Cecilia Samartin’s most impressive work yet, Vigil is told from the perspective of Ana, a middle aged woman who is waiting at the deathbed of her husband as he loses his battle against cancer. While she waits, she thinks back on her life and the incredible journey that brought her from war-torn El Salvador, to a convent in the U.S., and finally to a wealthy California estate where she was employed as the nanny for a dysfunctional family caught up in the throes of decadent life. Despite her traumatic past, she is able to bring a wealth of love and harmony to her affluent yet spiritually bereft employers—gifts that no money could ever buy.

In the course of Samartin’s work as a psychotherapist, she has been awed by those rare individuals who not only survive after having endured unimaginable trauma, but flourish, and are able to promote the same in those around them. Vigil is the story of one such woman and the family that she sets her heart on saving. A heart-wrenching story of love and loss, Vigil is Cecilia Samartin’s most powerful novel to date. As Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander said, “Samartin writes with shimmering grace about homeland, exile, passion, and loyalty.” Readers will be spellbound by Vigil’s magical language and provocative themes.
 

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Well-written story

User Review  - brknhrt - Borders

Vigil is an interesting and beautifully written novel. Although you may think this would be a disheartening story, it was not. Yes, there is sadness, but is also a story about happiness, friendship ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
26
Section 3
46
Section 4
72
Section 5
111
Section 6
133
Section 7
184
Section 8
205
Section 13
287
Section 14
298
Section 15
313
Section 16
334
Section 17
351
Section 18
357
Section 19
365
Section 20
380

Section 9
220
Section 10
238
Section 11
257
Section 12
274
Section 21
395
Section 22
398
Section 23
403
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Cecilia Samartin was born in Havana in the midst of Fidel Castro's revolution. She grew up in Los Angeles as a fully bicultural, bilingual American. She studied psychology at UCLA and marriage and family therapy at Santa Clara University. Deeply concerned with the lack of Spanish speakers in her profession, Cecilia has practiced within the Latino communities in some of the most impoverished inner-city areas of San Jose and Los Angeles. She lives with her British-born husband in San Gabriel, California.

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