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Still Water Saints chronicles a year in the life of Agua Mansa, a suburban town east of Los Angeles and west of the desert, home to school teachers and construction workers, middle managers and accountants, shoplifting speed addicts and overweight grocery clerks, Elvis fans and Madonna impersonators, Mexican immigrants and Chicana muralists, long-distance truck drivers and punk-loving tattoo artists. It’s also home to the Botánica Oshún and its owner, Perla Portillo. Perla has served the community for years, arming her clients with the tools to navigate all manner of crises, great and small. But when a boy with a troubled past arrives in her store, Perla must confront her growing doubts about her place in the world. Interweaving Perla’s story with those of her customers, the novel weaves a vibrant tapestry of intersecting lives in California’s rapidly-changing Inland Empire.Called a “stunning debut” by Los Angeles Magazine, “elegantly crafted” by the Washington Post, and “the beginning of a distinguished career” by New West, Still Water Saints was a selection of Barnes and Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers” program in spring, 2007.

Still Water Saints is a cycle of tales as perfect as the beads of a rosary. One alone is a little miracle; the whole together is capable of renewing one's faith in new fiction.

—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street


Elegantly crafted...If magic is in short supply here among the new housing developments and the strip malls, faith in every incarnation is thriving.
The Washington Post



Espinoza treats us to a rich, episodic gem of human foible, need, greed, beauty, and weirdness...His style is ominous, layered, and clean--reminiscent of a Hieryonymus Bosch painting.
Los Angeles Times Book Review



Espinoza skillfully weaves together the alternating narrative viewpoints of Perla and her customers...He handles the proceedings with a steady, well-rounded reportage that suits the story.
—Publishers Weekly



Alex Espinoza is poised to become the Faulkner of his own haunted landscape...This place will be made real to readers across the nation through his delicate, spirit-infused, and lovely prose.
Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon 



Fresh, magical, beautiful, and evocative. Still Water Saints offers a window into a world most of us never see. I loved it.
Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan


A well-crafted collection of vignettes, neatly stitched together.

Kirkus (starred review)

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