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The Grief Keeper

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Villasante’s novel is for the reader who wants to get down and dirty with the emotional landscape, who wants a romance that is hard-earned and sweetly won. The Grief Keeper...[creates] a realistic yet still hopeful world seen through the gaze of an intelligent, curious protagonist.
— Shelf Awareness

When her brother is murdered, and her little sister’s life is threatened, seventeen-year-old Marisol Morales knows they have no choice but to flee their home in El Salvador, and steal across the US border. Especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn’t be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn’t have been caught by ICE.

But they have been caught and their asylum request will most certainly be denied. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She’s asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It’s a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief.

The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.


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