Lauded author Kirstin Valdez Quade joined National Book Award winner Alice McDermott (Charming Billy) to celebrate the launch of The Five Wounds. Quade is a recipient of the “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation and her story collection, Night at the Fiestas, won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. Her debut novel tells the story of five generations of the Padilla family converging and upending main character Amadeo Padilla’s quiet life. With his 15-year-old daughter pregnant, Amadeo finds each of his family members is expecting more from him than he can manage.
The Five Wounds
By Kirstin Valdez Quade
Published by WW Norton
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.