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Infinite Country
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
For readers of Valeria Luiselli and Edwidge Danticat, an urgent and lyrical novel about a Colombian family fractured by deportation, offering an intimate perspective on an experience that so many have enduredand are enduring right now. At the dawn of the new millennium, Colombia is a country devastated by half a century of violence. Elena and Mauro are teenagers when they meet, their blooming love an antidote to the mounting uncertainty of life in Bogot. Once their first daughter is born, and facing grim economic prospects, they set their sights on the United States. They travel to Houston and send earnings back to Elenas mother, all the while weighing whether to risk overstaying their tourist visas or to return to Bogot. As their family expands, and they move again and again, their decision to ignore their exit dates plunges the young family into the precariousness of undocumented status, the threat of discovery menacing a life already strained. When Mauro is deported, Elena, now tasked with caring for their three small children, makes a difficult choice that will ease her burdens but splinter the family even further. Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel, herself the daughter of Colombian immigrants and a dual citizen, gives voice to Mauro and Elena, as well as their children, Karina, Nando, and Taliaeach one navigating a divided existence, weighing their allegiance to the past, the future, to one another, and to themselves. Rich with Bogot urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality for the undocumented in America, Infinite Country is the story of two countries and one mixed-status familyfor whom every triumph is stitched with regret and every dream pursued bears the weight of a dream deferred.
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Mary_Reads
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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This year's first ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read. I'm 2nd generation Mexican American and grew up in a border town and this book hit close to home and brought tears to my eyes. Many of my family and friends have lived through the struggles written about in this book. I thought it was done really well and spoke to true experiences.

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magyklyXdelish
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Mehso-so

So I‘m torn on this book. I think it being a novel was where it went wrong for me. This is a book that had a lot to say, but for the first 2/3 of the story, it‘s at a detriment to the characters. The plot and character development felt like it took a backseat. I didn‘t feel anything for any of the characters really until almost the end but not because I didn‘t want to. It just felt like they were held at arms length. ⬇️⬇️

magyklyXdelish I feel like this would have been better as a non fiction with how much history and realism is already in this book. I‘m disappointed because I had high hopes for this one. I do really appreciate the truth she writes when it comes to immigrant experiences and offering just a tiny peek into what they go through (because truly it‘s only a tiny peek). If I cared more about the characters throughout the whole book, I would have rated higher. 3w
TheAromaofBooks Great review!! 3w
28 likes3 comments
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squirrelbrain
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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I really liked this, but perhaps not as much as I‘d hoped from other Litsy reviews. I expected it to be knocking on the door of my #top21of2021 but instead it was more of a solid 8 out of 10.

I loved learning a bit about Colombia, and appreciated the balanced view of immigration to the US. However I thought the ending was a bit rushed, and was perhaps a bit too positive to be realistic.

Thank you for the #buddyread @BarbaraBB 😘

BarbaraBB Thank you Helen. It‘s always good to read with you 🤍 merry Christmas 4w
69 likes1 comment
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BarbaraBB
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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It‘s hard to review this book. It captures so well how it must be to live undocumented in a new country with half of your family in the country you left. The dilemma: going back or staying? Both options have risks, both have advantages. So I was engaged by the theme but not so much by the storytelling.
I am happy to have read it though, especially for the parts set in Colombia, a country of which I have fond memories.

(Pic: Kronberg, Germany)

BarbaraBB Thank you for sending me this book @Liz_M thank you for buddyreading it @squirrelbrain 4w
LeahBergen I‘m so envious of your travels! Enjoy and happy holidays! 😘😘 4w
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen Thanks! I‘m glad to be away from home for awhile. Holland is so small we‘re abroad quite soon and all feels different! Happy holidays to you too my friend. Make the most of it ❤️ 4w
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squirrelbrain Great review Barbara - I‘ll post mine later! Happy Holidays! 😘 4w
Cathythoughts Happy holidays Barbara 🎄❤️ 4w
Megabooks Glad you enjoyed it! Merry Christmas dear friend! 💚🎄 4w
Suet624 I'm so glad you liked this book. 1w
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BarbaraBB
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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These may well be my favorite sentences of the book. The reality of immigrants in half a page. Wow 💔

squirrelbrain These stood out for me too. ❤️ 4w
Suet624 Ugh. I know. 1w
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squirrelbrain
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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I made a start on this today @BarbaraBB and loving it so far.

I‘m already around halfway through; didn‘t have any work to do and pup was being a bit of a menace all day so I listened to some on audio and read some, whilst trying to keep an eye on him!

BarbaraBB Ooh that sounds promising (and hard to keep up 😉 you read so fast!). I hope to start tomorrow, finishing my current book tonight hopefully! 1mo
BarbaraBB Are you not working at the moment? How wonderful 🤍 1mo
squirrelbrain I‘m only working part-time at the moment and there‘s not much happening in the week before Christmas. That‘s a good thing @BarbaraBB though, I have no time to work now that Henry has arrived! 🐶 1mo
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BarbaraBB It seems a lovely combination. No office, much Henry 🤍 1mo
Suet624 It‘s a good one!! 1mo
BarbaraBB I have started it too and am 40 pages in. So far so good. In between work things I hope to read some more today! 4w
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Suet624
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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A short and impactful novel about a family dealing with deportation, separation, and loneliness. My daughter lived in Colombia for several years and the writing brought me right back to the scenery, climate, and statues of the Virgin in grottos. Will the family ever be able to unite? It was an unexpectedly emotional read for me.

kspenmoll Where in Columbia- what was she doing? One of brother‘s was there but just for one year. Way back when… 1mo
Suet624 @kspenmoll she and her family were in Medellin for two years for her husband”s job. 1mo
BarbaraBB I am going to buddyread this one with @squirrelbrain later this month and am looking forward to it, partly because of my own memories of Colombia. Such a special country but I know you think so too. (edited) 1mo
squirrelbrain Great review Sue - I‘m looking forward to our #buddyread @BarbaraBB ! 1mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I hope you both find it as impactful as I did. 1mo
57 likes5 comments
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magyklyXdelish
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Starting this one next. In a very rare happenstance I have both fatbutt and mr. Frank on my lap at the same time. Mr. Frank is usually too grumpy to let fatbutt stay but today he‘s indifferent 🤣 🐈‍⬛🐈‍⬛🐾🐾

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Suet624
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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A brief stop off at the library to return some books and here we are. Unexpected good fortune. Some Litsy-recommended, some librarian-recommended, and Jenny Lawson is always a go-to for me. It‘s a great day.

Megabooks I‘ve read all of these! I can rarely say that. My favorite was Infinite Country! 2mo
Suet624 @Megabooks I feel as if I won at @megabook‘s book bingo! 🤩👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼😍 2mo
Megabooks 😁😁👍🏻👍🏻 2mo
Tonton Great stack! 1mo
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BkClubCare
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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#AmReading #TOB2022longlist #bookConnections #coinkydink
“…she birthed half-avian chicks” #birdbaby LINK! To Chouette

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BarbaraBB
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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What a surprise! Dear Liz, I‘m ridiculously happy with this book! It‘s longlisted for the ToB, it‘s about Colombia and it‘s a beautiful edition! Thank you so much for your friendship and kindness! Please tell me when is your birthday 🙏 (I don‘t think you‘re on the Litsy calendar)!
PS how clever to order it via a Dutch bookstore!
😘😘

sarahbarnes It‘s a wonderful book! ❤️ 2mo
squirrelbrain What a lovely gift! This one is on Scribd, so let me know if you‘d like to do a #buddyread. 2mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I‘d like that! How about the end of December? I ‘ll be buddyreading the tagged one with @mklong and @monalyisha second week of December and it‘s kind of a #chunkster! 2mo
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squirrelbrain Sounds good to me Barbara! I loved Fresh Water and hope you do too! 2mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain looking forward to this buddyread with you 🤍 2mo
Megabooks This book was 5⭐️ for me so I hope you enjoy it too! 2mo
monalyisha @BarbaraBB @mklong IS it a chunkster? I didn‘t even notice. 😅 Good to know! 2mo
BarbaraBB @monalyisha @mklong I‘m exaggerating, I thought it was, but the blurb says 400 pages 😅 2mo
Liz_M I'm glad it arrived! It was definitely one of the most interesting books on your Tob tbr list. 😁 2mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M Is it? I have no idea since I haven‘t read any of them. Any suggestions are welcome. But I am very glad with this one!!! 2mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M Birthday?!?!?!?! 2mo
BkClubCare I loved this book and is on my hope for the shortlist. So glad to be introduced to this author. 2mo
Suet624 Wait. You haven‘t read fresh water for flowers? I thought you had! 1mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 No! I‘ve been meaning to ever since you reviewed it and have a copy ready to go yet haven‘t read it yet! 1mo
Suet624 Wow! I was sure you had. I hope you love it as much as I did. 1mo
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MelKelsey
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Book 129

I listened to Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, a story about a family separated by an ocean because of deportation. It's a quick and slightly confusing read. 3.5 stars

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Addison_Reads
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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#BookSpinBingo September @TheAromaofBooks

I understand why this book receives such wonderful praise. 💚 It's a gorgeous piece of literature with complex themes about home and family.

I loved this book, although it did break my heart several times while reading, but trust me, in the end it was worth it.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 4mo
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ICantImReading
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A testament to our common humanity, the duality of immigration, and that the most important part of the place you call home is the people who share it with you. The narrator reveal and switch to a first-person perspective later on felt clunky and the writing style made me feel a bit emotionally distant. However, this slim novel gives readers a lot to think about, has many beautiful lines, and is well worth the time. #reesesbookclub

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Addison_Reads
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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My September list. I can't wait to see what numbers are drawn tomorrow for #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin. @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 5mo
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ImperfectCJ
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Interwoven with Colombian mythology, this is a beautiful look at the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of "home". The "author-as-narrator" device is somewhat clumsily done, introduced out of the blue in chapter 19, but the rest of the book is strong enough to withstand that. I alternated between the hardcover and the audiobook, and it was interesting to hear the audio narrator struggle with tears in some sections.

SweetP1967 I really enjoyed this one…picked it up on a whim at the library and was really glad I did! 5mo
Addison_Reads I can't wait to start this one. I just picked it up from the library. 5mo
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ImperfectCJ
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Made a couple of by-request masks for my son while listening to the tagged book. I'm tempted to seek out more projects to do so I have an excuse to listen to more of it. 🤔

Prairiegirl_reading I love being “in the pocket” if an audiobook like that!! I can‘t get into anything lately. 😕 5mo
Tamra Love the print & colors! 5mo
ImperfectCJ @Tamra I do, too! He asked for the purple and I threw in the turquoise. I also got some fall/Halloween prints I hope to break into over Labor Day weekend. 5mo
ImperfectCJ @Prairiegirl_reading I've been antsy when I try to sit down and read, but audiobooks have been working pretty well for me, provided I have something to do that keeps my hands busy so I don't get restless but doesn't use so much of my brain that I can't follow the story. I hope you find something that engrosses you soon! 5mo
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Kristin_Reads
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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5⭐️ || Honest and stunning... a story about family, immigration, and hope. An excellent read!

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Karmapen
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Wow, I LOVED this book. Even though it spanned more than three decades, you felt so close to the action it was like you felt the character‘s breath on your cheeks. It was also just painfully contemporary without feeling cheap—a little window into how we will all be remembered.

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Sonarson
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Quick insightful read

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vlwelser
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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This is so interesting. It's about a family that half lives in the US and the others live in Columbia. Some are legal US citizens and others are afraid of being deported. This was my July #bookclub pick. I definitely recommend it. The #audiobook is also good. It is really short.

#DoubleSpin done!
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 7mo
46 likes1 comment
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Samary
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Really loved this one. I feel it‘s a fresh perspective on home and belonging.

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Floresj
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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This was so good! Short, with multiple perspectives from time and locations, this novel about a family in Colombia and the US. Beautiful writing, inclusion of Columbia‘s folklore, and exposing of the undocumented struggles, combine to create a great read.

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ElleSkel
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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This was so good. A strong own voice novel that manages to drive so many points home while telling a story of love and family that makes you want to scream sometimes but also makes you feel warm inside. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Chelsea.Poole
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Hopefully, a book that will inspire some empathy in Reese‘s Book Club readers. Unfortunately, I know that the circumstances of the family in this slim novel are ones faced by many. I love fiction for the way it can help readers see the humanity in others. At times sad, but not without hope. Side note: I‘m enjoying these shorter novels that get things done in less pages! 💪 (big books are awesome, too!)

Cinfhen Beautiful photo and lovely review. While Im also enjoying slimmer storytelling this book felt rushed & neatly wrapped a little too easily/ quickly. It was ok for me, I think it could have been a bit better given how skilled a writer Patricia Engel is. 8mo
Megabooks I‘m enjoying shorter novels as well. Great review!! This was 5⭐️ for me. 8mo
Chelsea.Poole @Cinfhen I agree — the ending came up on me all of a sudden which didn‘t match the pace of the rest of the book for me. 8mo
See All 6 Comments
Chelsea.Poole @Megabooks 👯‍♀️ 8mo
kspenmoll Great review! 7mo
BkClubCare @Chelsea.Poole - re: the abrupt ending; when the eBook shows 83% complete and then ends at 86% because they tack on a teaser of a next book, I get slightly annoyed. One reason I prefer hardcover first editions! When I get to the last page - I want it be the true end of the story. 😆 2mo
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AvidlyAlexis
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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26/100, 4☆, I enjoyed this short book very much. It took a little while to get used to the style of writing, which seemed a bit disconnected and kind of stream of consciousness, but once I did I really got into the story and had to know what was going to happen next. The ending was a beautiful wrap up that perfectly tied together all the themes and highlighted the deeper meaning of the story.

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PSreads73
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Infinite Country is a compelling story about immigration involving a family from Colombia. It focuses on the struggles they face in both their native land and The United States. For example, the violence in Colombia and the immigration policies of The USA. There are many sad and anger-inducing moments, but this is a story about hope and overcoming odds.

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Bookishgal71
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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This is a book to read slowly to savor the eloquence. It is beautifully written and addresses horrible commonalities illegal immigrant families face each day. #reesesbookclub

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akfreeborn
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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This book was such an honest look at the immigration experience for a Colombian family fractured and divided until against all odds they could reunite again. The story is concise, beautiful and horrifying but most importantly thoughtful. This one will stay with me for a while.

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Kalalalatja
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Mehso-so

I keep forgetting to review this book, which says all you need to know about how I feel about it - not memorable. I just can‘t explain why. On paper, it is a good book - great writing, interesting themes of immigration, belonging and family, and mythical elements. I just couldn‘t connect to the story or characters at all 🤷‍♀️

#DoubleSpin
#Pop21 - A book set in multiple countries

4thhouseontheleft The description sounds great! Too bad it ended up not being as good as it sounded for you. 8mo
Hooked_on_books This one didn‘t really work for me, either. I love the concept and the topics it addresses, but it‘s just too choppy in its presentation. 8mo
Megabooks I‘m sorry it didn‘t work out for you! 8mo
See All 6 Comments
Traci1 I felt the same way. 8mo
TheAromaofBooks At least it's off the list!! 8mo
Cinfhen The ending bugged me and I agree/ it had all the right elements but something was still missing 8mo
63 likes6 comments
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Mdonald
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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marleed
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Wow. I thought this was such a well-developed and complete story to tell in less than 200 pages.

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LatrelWhite
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Such a great read! 🎧 or listen😆

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Ny_Fergie
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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There are so many different realities regarding immigration. This was the story of a Colombian family trying to start a new life in the U.S. Some of these details I knew. Others, I did not. And for that reason, I hope to read more stories like this. This story is short (under 200 pages) but gives you plenty to think about. I really enjoyed this one.

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britt_brooke
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The arduous story of a mixed-status family, divided between Bogotá and New Jersey. Engel plays with style, intentionally fragmenting the story, bouncing between characters and time, often only scratching the surface before the next shift. Yet, she covers a vast story in few pages. I particularly dug the narrative shift when Karina popped in using first-person rather than third. A surprising, but effective, choice. #coverlove

Megabooks Agree! I liked that first person surprise too! 9mo
britt_brooke @Megabooks It threw me for a loop for a second, but it was well-placed and effective. 💚 (edited) 9mo
Suet624 I was trying to figure out what to say about this book. You described it perfectly. 1mo
britt_brooke @Suet624 Thanks so much, Sue! 💚 1mo
103 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Lindy
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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“It was her idea to tie up the nun.” From the opening line, there‘s a forward propulsion in this story of an undocumented immigrant family, split between Colombia and the US, told in two timelines, and from the viewpoints of all five family members. Their hardships made an impression on my heart, adding distinct individuals to my awareness of the global situation of migration. #Audiobook read by Inés Del Castillo.

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Lindy
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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There was an alegria inherent to Colombians, optimism even through tears, but never the kind of self-interrogation of ‘happiness‘ she observed in the north, the way people constantly asked themselves if they were content as if it were their main occupation in life. And what was happiness? Not selfish fulfillment, of this she was certain. That seemed like a recipe for the opposite.

Suet624 These sentences stopped me in my tracks this morning as I was reading it. 1mo
Lindy @Suet624 I‘m feeling wistful about the pleasures of reading… my doctor said to give it a month before doing much of it. Concussion blues. 1mo
Suet624 I had to look back to your other posts to see what the heck happened to you. A month! Even audiobooks? This is tragic! Seriously! That‘s adding insult to injury. 1mo
37 likes3 comments
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Soubhiville
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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This was a heartbreaking story of a family torn apart by immigration laws, having to live separate lives in Columbia and the US.

I liked the way we were offered points of view of all the siblings and both parents. What a difficult life.

The ending was particularly hard, I‘m not sure what I‘d do in the MC‘s position.
#getsometissues.

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Lindy
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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The day after the last election, some kids came skipping into home room like a war was won. Hearing cocaine jokes and mechanical hallway insults of GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY was nothing new for me and Nando, but there was new brazenness, like a gloved hand reaching for our throats reminding us we were not welcome.
(Internet photo)

CarolynM 😢😡 10mo
Reggie I know he‘s just the tip of the iceberg of racism and xenophobia in our country but I hope with all the lawsuits and federal inquiries coming they show where someone like that goes. 10mo
Lindy @Reggie 🌱hope🌱 10mo
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Lindy
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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I remember wondering what it must feel like to belong to American whiteness and to know you can do whatever you want because nobody you love is deportable.

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jenniferajanes
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Wow! I thought American Dirt ripped my heart out. Infinite Country was an amazing story of a family living in two separate countries. Heart wrenching! #Kindle #Libby

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LaraReads
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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“Love comes paired with failures, apologies for deficiencies. The only remedy is compassion.”

This is my favorite of 2021 so far! ⬇️

LaraReads When you put name and faces and real lives to the nameless that are often portrayed in the news, it can and will break your heart. That‘s the reason this struck me so sharply, because I know I am guilty of the numbness that comes with so many of the same stories. This novel helped to make me feel that empathy again. 10mo
LaraReads To me, the disjointed feel of this story only adds to the desperation each member of this family must feel, not takes away from it. I enjoyed the journey, I enjoyed the emotion, and I am thankful for the reminder of things that need to be recognized and cared about. I especially enjoyed the flashbacks and Colombian history/Andean mythology that was presented in them. 10mo
LaraReads I usually don‘t like when stories pull you out of the present, but for some reason it really worked for me here. Heritage is important, and knowing the story of someone‘s past helps you to better understand who they are. 10mo
LaraReads Overall, I believe this is a story of family, and how much different life‘s paths can be when people are separated. How when you are brought back together, the pain of missing a ‘place‘ seems to lessen, and you are able to mend. You realize that love and family can become your infinite country. 10mo
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beeweird
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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This brief but powerful story weaves the lives of five family members with Colombian myths as it plumbs the depths of "home," whether that's a place or people. The chapters are short and affecting. I ache for those who have lived similar experiences. ?????

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beeweird
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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"I remember wondering what it must feel like to belong to American whiteness and to know you can do whatever you want because nobody you love is deportable. Your worst crime might get you locked up forever but they'll never take away your claim to this country." ?

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EatSleepRead
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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Mehso-so

Lots to digest here, but overall just an okay read.

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Acoleman
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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I really enjoyed this one, different from books I‘ve read lately. I especially enjoyed reading about Talia‘s journey. I think her character is wise beyond her years and written very smart.

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Twainy
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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🎧 TW: racism, sexual assault, alcoholism.

It‘s a somewhat disjointed story of a Columbian couple overstaying their visas & ultimately becoming undocumented with 2/3 of their children being US citizens.

The family‘s torn apart by deportation. The story delves into the fear & uncertainty that plague the daily lives of the undocumented. A family‘s greatest fear is being separated & sadly a woman‘s vulnerability can easily be exploited.

⭐️⭐️⭐️3/4

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Suelizbeth
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel
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It is hard to describe the feeling of this novel. It is disjointed and told from so many perspectives because the family in the story is in pieces that extend from North to South America. Deportation is a daily fear, and employers exploit this fear in truly despicable ways. Parents struggle with the heartache of separation. I am filled with new understanding and empathy for the plight of so many families in the same situation. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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jnichole
Infinite Country: A Novel | Patricia Engel

Decided to take Reese‘s suggestion and start reading this book. Only a few pages in but so far I‘m liking it.

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