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The Book of Unknown Americans: A novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Cristina Henríquez

Narrated By: Various Readers

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: June 2014

Duration: 9 hours 12 minutes


“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
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.

Read by Yareli Arizmendi, Christine Avila, Jesse Corti, Gustavo Res, Ozzie Rodriguez, and Gabriel Romero


  • Carolyn Martin

    The book was an interesting story, it was chosen because of the title & courtesy. I must admit it sometimes confused me but otherwise a good listen.

  • TL Shetron

    Enjoyed listening to this book with my college age daughter on a cross country trip. Interesting story about multiple perspectives of Hispanic immigrants in Delaware. My only complaint is that the book can't make up its mind what its main point is. It offers several good ones, but in a slightly schizophrenic way.

  • Jessica Eddy

    This is my first audio book so I am still trying to get used to listening to a book. But so far, I do enjoy it, especially because I am able to "read" while doing other things. The narration on this book is sometimes hard to understand if there is any background noise.

Book of Unknown Americans: A novel

by Cristina Henríquez

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Book of Unknown Americans: A novel, Cristina Henríquez