The line between truth and legend is obscured in the high desert of the San Luis Valley, a world of tall tales and miracles that draws literary pilgrims.
In 1962 the teenage Soria cousins of Bicho Raro, descended from Los Santos de Abejones of Oaxaca, Mexico, continue the family legacy of miracle working. However, pilgrims seeking a miracle here find their inner darknesses brought to life, tangible metaphors for their psychic pain. When the eldest cousin and acting Saint, Daniel, interferes with a miracle in progress, the darkness falls upon him as well, and he flees into the night. Barred by their fearful parents from seeking him directly, the remaining cousins decide to reach out in the only way they know how—through their pirate radio station. Coolly intellectual Beatriz and passionate Joaquin join forces with white-bread Pete Wyatt, a salt-of-the-earth transplant from Oklahoma, using the technical marvel of AM radio to perform a practical miracle and hopefully bring Daniel home. In the process, the family rediscovers that the best way to fight the darkness is with someone you love by your side. Stiefvater weaves a rich history for this mythical homestead. Though not an own-voices narrator, she well-captures the rural, mountain West and the Latinx culture that provides the foundation for the Sorias’ twilight world.
True history blends with traditional and fanciful folklore as fallen saints find salvation in the lyrical power of family, community, and rock-’n’-roll. (Fabulism. 14-adult)