Kirstin Valdez Quade proves she is a masterful storyteller in her debut novel, The Five Wounds. Set in a small town in New Mexico, readers will meet five generations of the Padilla family amid life-changing circumstances. This is an unputdownable story of deep family bonds, redemption and love, with characters so real that they will stay with readers long after the story ends.
Winner of The Center for Fiction's 2021 First Novel Prize Shortlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Longlisted for the 2022 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel One of NPR's Best Books of the Year • A Publishers Weekly and Library Journal Best Book of the Year in Fiction • A Kirkus Reviews Best Fictional Family of the Year • A Booklist Top Ten Book-Group Book of the Year • A Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut Novel Nominee From an award-winning storyteller comes a stunning debut novel about a New Mexican family’s extraordinary year of love and sacrifice.
It’s Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans for personal redemption. With weeks to go until her due date, tough, ebullient Angel has fled her mother’s house, setting her life on a startling new path.
Vivid, tender, funny, and beautifully rendered, The Five Wounds spans the baby’s first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge: Amadeo’s mother, Yolanda, reeling from a recent discovery; Angel’s mother, Marissa, whom Angel isn’t speaking to; and disapproving Tíve, Yolanda’s uncle and keeper of the family’s history. Each brings expectations that Amadeo, who often solves his problems with a beer in his hand, doesn’t think he can live up to.
The Five Wounds is a miraculous debut novel from a writer whose stories have been hailed as “legitimate masterpieces” (New York Times). Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that will linger long after the final page, bringing to life their struggles to parent children they may not be equipped to save.
Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. The recipient of a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, she teaches at Princeton University and lives in New Jersey.