Years after the death of her father, 18-year-old Casiopea Tun lives a Cinderella-like existence. She resides at her wealthy grandfather’s home where she’s forced to iron his clothes and clean the floors, and dreams of fleeing her southern Mexican town for anywhere else. Getting out seems impossible until Casiopea stumbles upon a wooden box in the house, which she opens only to accidentally free the spirit of the Mayan god of death. He’s seeking revenge on his brother and needs her help to get it—and in exchange, promises to help turn her dream of escape into reality. With a plot reminiscent of the classics, the novel is executed in the most vivid and colorful terms. Silvia Moreno-Garcia immerses readers into 1920s Mexico and seamlessly blends fairy tale and folklore into an inspiring quest narrative that poses pointed questions about purpose, power and freedom. —Annabel Gutterman

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