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Vigil: A Novel (Wsp Readers Club) Paperback – July 21, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Written with evocative grace and poetic beauty, Ana's story captured my heart on the first page and did not let go until long after the last heart-mending words. A story of losing one's homeland and beginning again, Samartin's storytelling is infused with tender insight into the wounded places of the human soul." -- Patti Callahan Henry, National Bestselling author of Between the Tides
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of the description seems straight out of a Harlequin romance, (Mr. Trellis was very tall, with chestnut hair, extremely handsome but troubled). Nevertheless, this is a good read overall, and I recommend it to those looking for a good, uncomplicated story that will entertain you for a while
The story was captivating as Ana reflects back on her life starting as a child in El Salvador hiding from soldiers. As she tends to her dying love, she reflects on her memories of her mother and childhood friends to her life as a postulant. I enjoyed Vigil for its rich descriptions and interesting characters. It was a romantic novel without being a typical "Romance" novel.
Young orphaned Ana, with the help of missionary Sister Josepha, manages to escape war-torn El Salvador and end up in an American convent. She is ready to take her vows to become a nun when she is abruptly appointed a nanny position for an affluent family. Ana conveniently becomes "Nana" in the Trellis household and does her best to fit into her new job with this strangely disconnected family. While taking care of one child with another one on the way, Ana can't understand this rich family's dysfunction but becomes close to them all the same. Feelings grow, warts emerge, and lots of other things happen that would probably be identified as a `spoiler' in a review.
But as I stated earlier, these characters are perfect. Adam Trellis, the father, is the perfect balance of stern paternity and warmth. Mother Lillian Trellis is perfectly materialistic but contains a healthy pinch of regret to even her out. Darwin Trellis and Benson are perfectly avuncular (childless, yet nurturing). As for the two children, Teddy is the typically confident boy while his little sister Jessie lacks self-esteem yet appears to be more perceptive than her big brother. Sister Josepha is the perfectly understanding mother figure to Ana. And Ana herself is perfectly perfect.Read more ›
And although the story did not grab me immediatley, Cecilia Samartin's writing certainly did. There is a certain poetic grace to her style that I found enchanting. The story reads easily and beautifully, slowly drawing the reader in and holding on tight!
I found Ana's story just captivating. The novel begins with the death of her lover and then flashes back to the events leading up to that moment. Her life takes many twists and turns, from her life in El Salavador to a convent in America. She eventually finds herself a nanny for a very dysfunctional and wealthy family. I wondered if Ana would be able to teach them her own life lessons or if they would drag her into their own lives of wealth and dysfunction. These relationships are what really brought the story home for me.
I am so happy that I stuck with this book, because it was definitely worth the time.
Following the path she established for herself, Ana graduates from high school and prepares for her role as a novitiate. Before taking her temporary vows, she is offered an opportunity to work as a nanny for a rich family, which she accepts. But life with the Trellis family affects Ana in ways she never expected...
"Vigil" was a pleasure to read and reminiscent of The Sound of Music. Samartin expertly weaves the past with the present, and Ana, who narrates the past, is surprisingly unbiased in describing her own life. "Vigil" is a story of survival, forgiveness, family and love, and one of my favorite books this year.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ana's story was wonderful. I enjoyed it from the first sentence to the last. I got frustrated with how selfish the characters would get. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lover of Books
This is another book by Mrs. Samartin that I could not put down. It follows the life of a young lady named Ana. Mrs. Read morePublished 21 months ago by BlueButtercup
This was a true down turn. Flat and unrealistic charachters, a romance you read in immature novels for very young girls. A story not to believe in. Read morePublished on January 18, 2011 by borge
I was entertained by VIGIL but it did take me getting into the book a few chapters. Not a happy story at all. Read morePublished on January 23, 2010 by B. Ferris
One one hand, the plot and characters were rather clique and didn't seem to really change over the course of the book--on the other hand I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished on December 22, 2009 by P. Gould
When I ordered this, I was hoping for something like The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson. I was sorely disappointed. Read morePublished on November 11, 2009 by Harkius
Having been widowed a few years ago, I was interested in this book but reluctant to start reading it. When I finally did, it was surprisingly engrossing. Read morePublished on October 16, 2009 by Gone2lunch
Not fast paced or suspenseful, never the less I was drawn in by this story of love and innocence. This is the story of Ana, whose childhood was interrupted by violence in her... Read morePublished on September 26, 2009 by Carla Ford