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Extended Audio Sample A Handbook to Luck, by Cristina García Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (223 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cristina García Narrator: Staci Snell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Late 1960s. We meet three children: Enrique Florit, from Cuba, living in southern California with his flamboyant magician father . . . Marta Claros, getting by in the slums of San Salvador, forced to leave school to help support her family, her beloved older brother having already left home . . . Leila Rezvani, a well-to-do surgeon’s daughter in Tehran, her mother concerned only with appearances, her father an often foolishly vocal opponent of the Shah. 

As we follow them across the next twenty years we see chance draw Leila and Marta into Enrique’s life–Leila and Enrique loving and losing each other, Marta the means to renewed hope for Enrique–and, throughout, “good luck or bad tilting life one way or another” for all of them.

With its cast of vividly drawn characters, its graceful movement through time, and its subtle revelation of the essential hopes and doubts of ordinary people whose lives are made extraordinary by circumstance, A Handbook to Luck is Cristina García’s most beautiful, elegiac, and deeply emotional novel yet.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Marian | 2/14/2014

    " You've got to enjoy this book. There are some problems with the plot, which never came together as I expected it to, but the dialog is sharp and funny and the individual scenes work well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Suzy | 1/22/2014

    " This was a book I kept wanting to read, which is pretty high praise from me. Christina Garcia is a good writer and managed to draw up 3 different characters and, as seems to be so popular now, tell a "story" alternating their POVs. Like the movie "Crash," the three immigrants from different countries fall together eventually and by accident, which ends up being why their three stories are being told together. Sort of. The title, I think, must be providing us a hint to another reason. They all have pretty crappy luck, one more crappy than the others, however. I don't know, I enjoyed reading this book, and felt satisfied by the end, but can't really say why. Read it; see what you think. I would definitely read something by Garcia again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jody | 1/21/2014

    " Story is of three young people growing up in different parts of the world, living very different lives. The story alternates between each of their existences as they grow up through the years dealing parents, children, love and work. As usual, I love the international-ness of it. While some of it takes place in the USA, none of the characters are Eurasian white, nor second generation American. From the book cover, I knew the characters would intersect, so I was really curious to see how that would happen. It is done in a very small world way, but also helps you realize that each person you run into has a very unique experience. Even before reading this book, I would imagine that history about the people I meet. We each have our own stories to tell. That reminder was the major lesson of this book for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ashley Lucas | 1/17/2014

    " This novel really intrigued me, particularly in the ways that it draws characters from different national origins and ethnicities into some of the same spaces and storylines. "

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