Extended Audio Sample

Download The Book of Unknown Americans: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Book of Unknown Americans: A Novel, by Cristina Henriquez Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cristina Henriquez Narrator: Christine Avila, Ozzie Rodrigue Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $20.00 Download
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $17.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Download learn more )

A boy and a girl who fall in love, two families whose hopes collide with destiny—an extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American

Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.

When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core.

Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart.

Suspenseful, wry and immediate, rich in spirit and humanity, The Book of Unknown Americans is a work of rare force and originality.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Passionate.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “This is a book about love…The first few paragraphs seduced me with beauty and the promise of a rich tale. And Henriquez delivers.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Gripping, memorable…A novel that can both make you think and break your heart.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Each scene, voice, misunderstanding, and alliance is beautifully realized and brimming with feeling in the acclaimed Henríquez’s compassionately imagined, gently comedic, and profoundly wrenching novel of big dreams and crushing reality, courageous love and unfathomable heartbreak.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Evoking a profound sense of hope, Henríquez delivers a moving account of those who will do anything to build a future for their children—even if it means confronting the fear and alienation lurking behind the American dream.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Spectacular…highly believable and poignant…A well-written story set among ‘unknown Americans,’ ostensibly Hispanic but in many ways any family adjusting to a new culture and way of life, regardless of ethnicity.”

    Library Journal

  • “A family from Mexico settles in Delaware and strives to repair emotional and physical wounds in Henríquez’s dramatic page-turner…A smartly observed tale of immigrant life that cannily balances its optimistic tone with straight talk.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This captivating story of America’s ‘simultaneously conspicuous and invisible” population is powerfully rendered by an ensemble of narrators representing voices from all over Latin America. Like families before them, the Riveras immigrate to the US in search of a better life for their daughter, Maribel. Though Maribel is the catalyst, it is Alma, her mother, and Mayor, her friend, who lure listeners in during alternating chapters. Their voices shift with emotion as the narrators deftly use pitch and pacing to maintain an intimate atmosphere amid the shifting perspectives. Periodically, new voices and new accents claim a chapter to share their own immigrant experiences. Each is captured with sensitivity, lending an immediacy to the story and providing a larger context to the Riveras’ experience. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “A triumph of storytelling. Henríquez pulls us into the lives of her characters with such mastery that we hang on to them just as fiercely as they hang on to one another and their dreams. This passionate, powerful novel will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.”

    Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

  • “Distinctively compassionate and original—a moving portrait of people who often pass before our eyes under a veil of invisibility. Gorgeously woven of both hope and delusion, and of the many kinds of love, this is a novel in which characters’ assimilations and aspirations are as much to a new country as to something even broader: to other, finer versions of themselves. As a reader I felt assimilated too, forever altered by the extraordinary world Henríquez creates.”

    Heidi Julavits, author of The Vanishings

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations