Book Review: The Wind That Lays Waste

I’m often weary of picking up an English translation of a book originally written in Spanish. It messes up with my head; I keep translating it back to Spanish in my head, and if I can’t, if it sounds too foreign, I get frustrated. But this English translation of Selva Almada’s The Wind That Lays Waste is flawless. It’s no wonder it won translation awards.

This is an amazingly beautiful story about what makes a family and what holds them together, about faith and moral compass. About parenting and choosing our own paths in life.

This is the story of Reverend Pearson, a traveling Evangelist Christian preacher, and his teenage daughter Leni. Reverend Pearson is set on converting as many people in small rural villages to his faith, while Leni struggles with her own beliefs. In the middle of nowhere, their car breaks down and then they cross paths with Gringo Bauer and his teenage assistant Tapioca, mechanics. Soon, their different lifestyles will crash and Almada will take us on an unexpected path.

Though not a Christian myself, I loved how Almada intersects the story with little excerpts of Pearson’s sermons. It gives the story a whole different depth and dimension. I loved this book and I can’t recommend it enough

Author: Carla Hafez

Reader of mostly literary fiction and own-voices fiction. Latina. Feminist. Amateur reviewer. Opinionated. Unapologetically progressive. Mom. Wife. Believer.

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