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Extended Audio Sample The Guardians: A Novel, by Ana Castillo Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.003663003663 out of 53.003663003663 out of 53.003663003663 out of 53.003663003663 out of 53.003663003663 out of 5 3.00 (273 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ana Castillo Narrator: Ana Castillo Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2007 ISBN: 9781415943519
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From American Book Award—winning author Ana Castillo comes a suspenseful, moving new novel about a sensuous, smart, and fiercely independent woman.

Eking out a living as a teacher’s aide in a small New Mexican border town, Tía Regina is also raising her teenage nephew, Gabo, a hardworking boy who has entered the country illegally and aspires to the priesthood. When Gabo’s father, Rafa, disappears while crossing over from Mexico, Regina fears the worst.

After several days of waiting and an ominous phone call from a woman who may be connected to a smuggling ring, Regina and Gabo resolve to find Rafa. Help arrives in the form of Miguel, an amorous, recently divorced history teacher; Miguel’s gregarious abuelo Milton; a couple of Gabo’s gangbanger classmates; and a priest of wayward faith. Between the ruthless “coyotes” who exploit Mexicans while smuggling them to America and the border officials who are out to arrest and deport the illegal immigrants, looming threat is a constant companion on the journey.

Ana Castillo brilliantly evokes the beautiful, stark desert landscape and creates vivid characters with strong voices and resilient hearts. The Guardians serves as a remarkable testament to enduring faith, family bonds, cultural pride, and the human experience.


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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 1/23/2016

    " Book is great, story is great and soulful, but I'd have appreciated reading it much more than listening to the boring singing voice of the reader sigh........... Had a hard time concentrating with that voice, it was like listening to my 6th grade class mate trying to read to the class. However, the book is so worth while reading! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dusty | 2/12/2014

    " i listened to this story on a c.d. read by the author. you can tell she loves her words and feels them. usually i would fall asleep as i listened and have strange dreams filled with hard emotions. there are a lot of intense emotions in this book which takes place on a the border of new mexico and mexico. gabo talks to god all the time, tiny tears runs with a gang, gabo's tia survives on the hard desert dust and determination. and hope. tia regina speaks of humilating border crossings and her dog winnie, who is a big part of her desert safety. spiritual and physical. but eventually this book is about survival and forgiveness. it makes you think. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danielle | 2/5/2014

    " Wow. If any part of your heart or soul lives in El Paso, Juarez, or Canutillo this book feels like home. I couldn't believe the first time she talked about "el shur-save" or Anapra. Amazing book about tragedy and life on la frontera. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/4/2014

    " I really loved this novel, especially Castllo's ability to write from the POV of several different characters. I felt there was a strongly different voice in each case. The frequent use of Spanish didn't bother me since that seemed like a natural part of each character's voice, but I could see how it would bother readers who weren't at all familiar with Spanish. Castillo did a beautiful job of showing how ordinary people's lives are affected by our inability to come to terms with "the border" and how some of those people are treated as disposable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vanessa | 1/31/2014

    " Ana Castillo captures the images and voices of her characters so that they become your neighbors, tias, and primos (or at least mine). It's an engaging and sobering story. A good read overall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 linnea | 1/30/2014

    " I loved this book!! It took me a while to read this becuase it felt like every other word was in spanish and my spanish is horrible, so I either has to remember or infer the word. Regardless, it was a touhing story of something I know nothing about, being Mexican and living on the border. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tomas | 1/28/2014

    " The teacher in the novel is a quirky, interesting character; a Chicano scholar. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 1/18/2014

    " If you are white, upper middle class, ever lived near the southern border or not - you should read this novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 1/13/2014

    " Great characters, and some deftly interwoven themes of liminality, being in a constant state of uncertainty, and being both the imperfect caretaker and the imperfectly cared-for. The ending is a little detached compared to the rest of the tone of the book, but still very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 12/24/2013

    " References to El Paso, Las Cruces, the Franklin Mountains and other border towns, make me nostalgic.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 12/21/2013

    " This is a heartbreaking account of Mexican familes (both illegal immigrants and third generation) who live in a border town. I loved the characters in this book although something about the writing was not compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Appy | 12/17/2013

    " This tale of quirky characters living life in a border town was both humorous and heart wrenching. Ms. Castillo is now on my list of favorite authors. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 11/15/2013

    " of the ten or so vacations reads this was the only memorable one. a decent, if a bit overblown, description of the struggles along the Mex-US border seen through the eyes on one woman, whose relatives are a mix of US citizen and MX citizens here undocumented. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 11/3/2013

    " I really loved this story. I loved the characters, the mixed up dialect, and the mixed up real and mystical aspects. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristyn Joy | 7/24/2013

    " Beautiful and heartbreaking. I so wanted it to be a "feel good" book but Castillo has too much integrity (and I imagine personal experience) to write a "made for Hollywood" version of this story that many of us should push ourselves to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dana | 5/27/2013

    " I liked this novel, but not as much as I thought I would when I began reading it. I really enjoyed how it is told from four different perspectives though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/16/2013

    " An interesting look at life on the border of New Mexico and Mexico. Not happy. Not the best writing, but interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 4/6/2013

    " I'm always looking for new books to add to my Latino lit class. This one is strong on character and weak on plot, but gives a strong sense of life on the border today. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 3/1/2012

    " An interesting, somewhat confusing, and not at all satisfying read about Mexican immigrants who cross the border from Mexico to the US repeatedly. Usually crossing for work, these people are ultimately victims of the coyotes, who are gangsters that control the illegal crossing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 2/24/2012

    " I am not sure what I think of this book. It is very well-written and heart-breaking as well as a bit strange. Certainly worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 12/12/2011

    " This is beautifully written. It made me wish I had paid more attention in Spanish class, as the language is woven so deeply into the novel. It's heartbreaking and beautiful, just like her poetry. Read it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacqlyn | 12/6/2011

    " I liked the unfolding of the story from very different perspectives, including the very strong Latina voice of tia Regina. The story is one of border hardship, survival, and forgiveness. I really enjoyed castillo's interspersing spanish language in the text. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keets | 10/21/2011

    " Had a hard time getting into it At first. As the characters developed, it became more interesting, only to end very abruptly. Still not sure how I feel about it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jana | 6/14/2011

    " This book takes place in Southern NM where I grew up so I was very comfortable with picturing the story. Although not a happy book, it is good nonetheless and again, I love that Ana Castillo writes about strong Latina women who live their lives with conviction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 2/21/2011

    " An interesting, somewhat confusing, and not at all satisfying read about Mexican immigrants who cross the border from Mexico to the US repeatedly. Usually crossing for work, these people are ultimately victims of the coyotes, who are gangsters that control the illegal crossing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danielle | 12/20/2010

    " Wow. If any part of your heart or soul lives in El Paso, Juarez, or Canutillo this book feels like home. I couldn't believe the first time she talked about "el shur-save" or Anapra. Amazing book about tragedy and life on la frontera. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn | 12/10/2010

    " Audio books are so fussy, I think I missed the ending somehow. But really liked most of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mom | 11/5/2010

    " Illuminating, and horrifying. The author paints a powerful picture of what life must be like for people living on the borders of our country.
    Takes a special kind of courage to be able to rise above the conflicts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 9/12/2010

    " I really loved this story. I loved the characters, the mixed up dialect, and the mixed up real and mystical aspects. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyaaf | 7/5/2010

    " Listened to it on CD, which was read by the author. Liked it a lot, but didn't know enough Spanish to understand some of the references, although one gets the gist of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 2/19/2010

    " of the ten or so vacations reads this was the only memorable one. a decent, if a bit overblown, description of the struggles along the Mex-US border seen through the eyes on one woman, whose relatives are a mix of US citizen and MX citizens here undocumented. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beata | 11/24/2009

    " I am humbled by great writing. It leaves me in awe, with nothing witty to say. I bow down before this book, because it is great and beautiful and thought provoking. Every student in this country and every governor of Arizona should be required to read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristyn | 11/23/2009

    " Beautiful and heartbreaking. I so wanted it to be a "feel good" book but Castillo has too much integrity (and I imagine personal experience) to write a "made for Hollywood" version of this story that many of us should push ourselves to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 10/28/2009

    " I am not sure what I think of this book. It is very well-written and heart-breaking as well as a bit strange. Certainly worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tomas | 8/26/2009

    " The teacher in the novel is a quirky, interesting character; a Chicano scholar. "

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