Of Saints and Miracles

This mesmerizing novel opens with a fratricide in a beautiful if impoverished region of northern Spain. The perpetrator, Marcelino, lives alone in his parental home where he recalls having doted on his baby brother and sought to protect their mother from their father’s drunken rages. Author Manuel Astur’s poetic language and seamless blend of lyricism with the grotesque renders this book a treasure for the reader that includes the mother’s bewitching tales about the sun, the moon, and an invisible horse-drawn carriage of death. Glimpses into other villagers’ lives reveal a community that gathers to slaughter pigs for feasts and to confront a mysterious plague of white worms. The mountainous green of rural Asturias is as much a character as these residents, from whom Marcelino flees to the wild peaks after his brother’s slaying, becoming a cult hero as he evades authorities. Of Saints and Miracles is a sensuous portrayal of an outcast’s struggle to survive in a chaotic world of both tragedy and magical splendor.

Excerpt from Of Saints and Miracles