As the lives of three generations of a Colombian family unfold, one of the main characters asks herself a question as she reflects on her life in the United States.
“What followed was an accumulation of days that bridged one life in one country to a second life in another one,” she writes.
“This is a family who defines themselves as they are,” Engel said.
“I come from a very large, large family, that happened to be located — a lot of them — in the United States, but a lot of them had complicated immigration situations,” she said.
“I think that's something that first- and second-generation families who are newly arrived in the United States feel in a very vivid way,” Engel said, “that when you've lost your homeland, or you are far from your homeland, and you're in an unfamiliar place — certainly I felt this growing up — that my family was my country, my family was my homeland, who we were in our home was different from the world outside the door.”
Ultimately, this experience is one that almost every single American family has gone through, whether it’s recent or in the distant past, Engel said, in a phone interview from her home in Miami
“A lot of people in this country — except those who are from the Indigenous population — don't seem to remember,” Engel said, “there was somebody in their family, whether it was by choice, or by force, or just circumstance, or even accidentally, who was the person who created that rupture from their life in their homeland, to the new life in this country, and change the course of their family history forever.”