The Caregiver

The Caregiver

From the critically acclaimed author of This Burns My Heart comes gorgeous, emotionally wise tale about a daughter who unearths the hidden life of her enigmatic mother.

Mara Alencar’s mother Ana is the moon, the sun, the stars. Ana, a struggling voice-over actress, is an admirably brave and recklessly impulsive woman who does everything in her power to care for her little girl. With no other family or friends her own age, Ana eclipses Mara’s entire world. They take turns caring for each other—in ways big and small.

Their arrangement begins to unravel when Ana becomes involved with a civilian rebel group attempting to undermine the city's torturous Police Chief, who rules over 1980s Rio de Janeiro with terrifying brutality. Ana makes decisions that indelibly change their shared life. When Mara is forced to escape, she emigrates to California where she finds employment as a caregiver to a young woman dying of stomach cancer. It’s here that she begins to grapple with her turbulent past and starts to uncover vital truths—about her mother, herself, and what it means to truly take care of someone.

Told with vivid imagery and subtle poignancy, The Caregiver is a moving and profound story that asks us to investigate who we are—as children and parents, immigrants and citizens, and ultimately, humans looking for vital connectivity.

Title:The Caregiver
ISBN:9781501178788
Format Type:

About Samuel Park

Samuel Park was an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. He graduated from Stanford University and the University of Southern California, where he earned his doctorate. He is the author of the novella


    The Caregiver Reviews

  • Angela M

    The book begins in California in the 1990’s when twenty six year old Mara Alencar, an undocumented immigrant from Brazil is a caregiver to an affluent woman with stomach cancer. In these early pages...

  • Diane S ?

    The story open with Mara working as a caregiver to a woman with stomach cancer. The novel than travel back in time, to Rio De Janiero in the 1980's, a very fraught political time in that country. Mara...

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Oh, how I love a mother-daughter story. The Caregiver is set in beautiful Rio de Janeiro in 1980s. Ana is everything to her daughter, Mara. She lives paycheck to paycheck as a voice-over actress, and ...

  • Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! “You taught me precious secrets of the truth, withholdin' nothin'You came out in front and I was hidingBut now I'm so much better so if my words don't come togetherListen to the...

  • Marialyce

    4 mother daughter starsMy reviews can be seen here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...Ana Alencar is everything to her daughter, Mara. She is the provider, the one who supplies endless love, and...

  • Kim

    3.5 stars. The first thing I have to say is that I am deeply saddened by the death of this author. I had no idea he passed away last year from stomach cancer. This was a good one. Can't believe it was...

  • Marjorie

    Ana and her little girl, Mara, take care of each other in their home in Copacabana, Brazil. Ana works as a voice-over actress but her job brings in little money. In desperation, she agrees to take a j...

  • RoseMary Achey

    Beautifully written The Caregiver explores the caregiving relationship between a mother and daughter during the tumultuous times in 1980's Rio de Janeiro. Two decades later the daughter is living in C...

  • Jennifer Tam

    A beautiful book - I truly enjoyed it but it was also sad in parts especially after finding out the author died at the age of 41 years old shortly after finishing it - his writing will be missed by th...

  • Donna Davis

    The Caregiver is one of the year’s best surprises. I read this book free and early, thanks to Net Galley and Simon and Schuster. Our protagonist is Mara Alencar, and our setting is split between pre...