Longlisted for the Aspen Literary Prize, 2019
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, 2018
Longlisted for Elle's Big Book Award, 2018
A giant debut novel about the redemptive, restorative power of love; about trust and fear; hair and makeup; food and sex; it's about belonging and...not belonging. It's a soulful literary saga set in the early nineties of San Francisco; a coming-of-age about leaving home and, sometimes, the necessity of turning back.
How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime?
When Hero De Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she's already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about the first and second. And his wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to scream with hurt at the steering wheel of the car she drives to collect her from school, and only Rosalyn, the fierce but open-hearted beautician, has any hope of bringing Hero back from the dead.
'This book is it: one of the best debut novels (and novels, period) of recent years' Elle
'Blazingly fearless' Observer
'Radical... I was startled at how moved I was' Guardian