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Publisher's Summary

A REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK AND INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

“A knockout of a novel…we predict [Infinite Country] will be viewed as one of 2021’s best.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 from Esquire, O, The Oprah Magazine, Elle, GMA, New York Post, Ms. Magazine, The Millions, Electric Literature, LitHub, AARP, Refinery29, BuzzFeed, Autostraddle, She Reads, Alma, and more.

I often wonder if we are living the wrong life in the wrong country.

Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family in the north.

How this family came to occupy two different countries, two different worlds, comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope. We see Talia’s parents, Mauro and Elena, fall in love in a market stall as teenagers against a backdrop of civil war and social unrest. We see them leave Bogotá with their firstborn, Karina, in pursuit of safety and opportunity in the United States on a temporary visa, and we see the births of two more children, Nando and Talia, on American soil. We witness the decisions and indecisions that lead to Mauro’s deportation and the family’s splintering - the costs they’ve all been living with ever since.

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel, herself a dual citizen and the daughter of Colombian immigrants, gives voice to all five family members as they navigate the particulars of their respective circumstances. And all the while, the metronome ticks: Will Talia make it to Bogotá in time? And if she does, can she bring herself to trade the solid facts of her father and life in Colombia for the distant vision of her mother and siblings in America?

Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality of the undocumented in America, Infinite Country is the story of two countries and one mixed-status family - for whom every triumph is stitched with regret, and every dream pursued bears the weight of a dream deferred.

©2021 Patricia Engel. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Editor's Pick

An important listen about the meaning of home and family
Patricia Engel’s newest novel tells the story of a Colombian family divided between the US and Colombia due to immigration policy and the struggle of their daughter, Talia, to be reunited with her family. More than anything, Engel strives to examine the senseless nature of immigration policies, the true meaning of “home” and nationality, and the way that laws on paper have flesh-and-blood consequences. Like Talia’s family in Infinite Country, my family emigrated to the US from Bogotá when I was a young girl. Bogotá and the US have been as important parts of my life as they are Talia’s. Engel captures the experience of Bogotá exactly. From her setting descriptions to the way that each generation of Colombians relates to violence differently, listening to Infinite Country felt familiar and unknown at the same time. My family had a very easy immigration process compared to what Talia’s family faces, but key parts of their experience immediately resonated with me: her parents’ sense of otherness upon arrival, their longing for the parts of Colombia that they loved (the mountains, the myths, the movement of Bogotá), and their realization that ''no country was safer than any other''. This is a short but important listen that packs deep emotion and stinging insight into the immigrant experience in the US, into each of its four hours. —Mariana P., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Infinite Country

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Disappointed

I wanted to love this book. While it’s likely a firsthand account of one experience of illegal immigration in the US, I found it hard to sympathize. One bad or selfish decision after the next where responsibility is never taken.

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Both depressing and hopeful

Some of the story recounts were methodical and tedious but it was contrasted with a beautiful story of family, immigration, reunification. I highly recommend it for all “gringos” who wish to find compassion for the melting pot additions to the US.

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Beautiful authentic window into the lives of immigrant families

A touching beautiful story about a family struggling to survive as immigrants in the United States. Really explains the hardships families experience, especially the ones we might never know about. Immigrant women are very vulnerable and everyone need to look out for them.

1 person found this helpful

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Changed View - A Gripping Story of Family & Country

I think this book should be a must read for all Americans. It helps to understand the other persons point of view and how they view Americans. Our country was founded on the freedom that everyone should have freedom. And yet now we want to restrict it to just certain people. When are we going to change the laws to enable people from other countries who enter our country to obtain citizenship without spending tens of thousands of dollars. My heart goes out to all who are here from another country in fear

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  • 04-17-21

Beautifully written

I will now read everything this author has written! Beautiful prose about displacement, wether by choice or involuntary, how love endures and what and where and who we call home and family can and cannot be defined.

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Left me wanting more

Beautiful writing and story. Honestly just wish some of the characters were a touch more fleshed out. Too short!

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Realistic. Timely. Excellent

I liked this book from the very first sentence: "It was her idea to tie up the nun." It's under 200 very worthwhile pages with a realistic story of immigration, more from the emotional aspects than the actual travel aspects.
How to be a family when the family is split into pieces? What is "home?"
Good writing gives plenty to think about and to discuss. Highly recommended.
I listened to audible version with the fine narrator, Inés del Castillo.

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Loved every second!

This book was beautifully written. Being half Colombian and an immigrant myself, I could really understand and relate to all of the characters and story in Infinite Country. Unfortunately, so many people have similar experiences and I was glad to read a book that represented immigrants as hard-working people hoping to find the best life possible for their families. I highly recommend it!

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Such a relatable story

When I lived in the United States & worked at a restaurant, & also being from a foreign country I have personally heard & witnessed many stories similar to this one. Other than Talia's ordeal with the kitchen worker & her journey to get to the airport. I know many families separated by immigration & the ordeal they have had to go through to be together. I am sure this really hits home for many people. Beautiful story.

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Exceptional & full of compassion.

I loved Infinite Country. My heart poured out listening to the struggles this family experienced. However. hope resonated throughout the story.