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Publisher's Summary

A Reese’s Book Club Pick and Instant New York Times Best Seller
 

Winner of the 2021 New American Voices Award, Longlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal, and a National Endowment of the Arts “Big Reads” Selection

“A profound, beautiful novel.” (People)

“Poignant.” (BuzzFeed)

“A breathtaking story of the unimaginable prices paid for a better life.” (Esquire)

This “heartbreaking portrait of a family dealing with the realities of migration and separation” (Time) is “a sweeping love story and tragic drama [and] an authentic vision of what the American Dream looks like in a nationalistic country” (Elle).

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.

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. Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality of the undocumented in America, Infinite Country “is as much an all-American story as it is a global one” (Booklist, starred review).

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

Featured Article: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with These Top 12 Audiobooks


Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month when you embrace 12 of the best listens by Latino authors we love all year round. From the mountains of Colombia to the streets of New York City, dive into decades of captivating storytelling through the lens of Latino culture. Explore genres as told by Latino and Latina authors from a wide variety of rich cultural backgrounds. Each listen offers a new insight into the vivid world of Latino experiences.

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.

6 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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This was a really good book!

I wasn't sure about the book when I started, because I'm very picky, but I definitely developed a connection with the characters and absolutely cried at the end (no spoilers- I won't say why!). Absolutely worth the read!

4 people found this helpful

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A great USA basher

If you want to waste you time reading a book that does nothing but bash this country go right ahead. It is so politicized that it fits right in with everything the progressive left is trying to teach us .

3 people 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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  • Jo
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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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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.

2 people found this helpful