BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata [in Booklist]

Besides sharing a Dominican background with titular Adana Moreau, Coral Peña seems rather miscast for first-time novelist Michael Zapata’s predominantly male cast. Having made her notable aural debut (serendipitously!) with Angie Cruz’s lauded Dominicana (2019), Peña’s sophomore performance feels more determined than inspired.

Zapata’s novel flows through 90 years, from the Caribbean to New Orleans, Chicago to Chile, ingeniously entwining two families for a brief few months, with that bond lasting multiple lifetimes. At 16, orphaned Adana lands in 1916 New Orleans, marries the “Last Pirate of the New World,” learns to read with their son Maxwell, publishes the cult sci-fi Lost City, but dies too young, although not before she destroys the sequel.

Fast forward into the next century, when Saul attempts to fulfill his beloved grandfather’s final wish – a delivery for Maxwell Adana in Chile. When the package is returned, Saul and his journalist friend Javier eventually follow Maxwell back into just-after-Katrina New Orleans.

Parallel universes, storytelling as survival, and global displacements all ensure a vital read: so, if audio is the easiest available option, click “borrow” and/or “buy” soonest.

Review“Media,” Booklist Online, July 17, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2020 (United States)



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