The Illegal and the Refugee-An American Love Story

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Publisher Description

THE ILLEGAL AND THE REFUGEE – An American Love Story is the story of an illegal Mexican immigrant and a Cuban refugee, and of the dangerous journeys they undertake to reach the United States in the hope of finding a missing loved one and the dream of a better life. Constructed of tragedy and triumph, with roots set deep in Mexico and Cuba, this contemporary American romance is about letting go of the past, the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity and of deep, unconditional love.

Maria Torres is a bright university student from Mexico City and a committed social activist who becomes gravely concerned when Eduardo the love of her life decides to cross into the United States illegally and then vanishes from the face of the earth. She decides to retrace his footsteps and survives a treacherous and traumatic crossing of the Arizona desert, ending up in East Los Angeles, an illegal immigrant and desperate to find him.

In Havana, Cuba, Ernesto Rodriguez dreams of fleeing his hermetic and state controlled country for the United States with the love of his life Yaneti. He succeeds in sending her off first and then she is never heard from again. Determined to find out what happened to her, he barely survives a life-threatening sea crossing, washing up confused and half-naked on a Florida beach, legally a refugee, and frantic to find her.

As Maria and Ernesto try to adapt to life in the United Sates and start to look for their missing loved ones, they stand at the intersection of the past and the present and of the forces that will eventually lead to their chance encounter and change their lives forever.


Literary Fiction
Upmarket Fiction
Contemporary American Romance
Romance and Drama
Latino Love Story
“He was out for a few hours–he wasn’t sure for how long, but when he came to, he was dehydrated and his lips were cracked and he felt terrible. It was late afternoon and the sun was lower in the sky. He lifted his head. His face was caked with sand, and he sat up and spit the sand out of his mouth and looked around with bewildered eyes. He slowly got up and saw that in front of him and to each side were tall apartment buildings. It was quiet; no one was around. For a few minutes he just stood there, wobbly and confused and unable to process his thoughts clearly. He had no idea where he was and he realized that all he had on was his underwear. He hesitantly put one foot forward and then another. His feet felt heavy, and every movement he made hurt him somewhere. He made his way in the direction of the nearest building and that’s when he saw it–a shape that stopped him dead in his tracks, fluttering lightly in the late afternoon breeze. It was an American flag, and to Ernesto it was the most beautiful thing he had seen in his entire life. He just looked at it and smiled, and a tear rolled down one of his cheeks. He knew then that he had made it. He was in America.”

Fiction & Literature
24 January
Ian Tremblay

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