Decatur Library Auditorium
April 24, 2017, 7:15p.m.
Arcelia Perez fled Puerto Rico to escape a failed marriage and a history of abuse, but instead of finding her piece of the American dream, she ends up on the wrong side of Providence. With three young children, Arcelia follows a rocky path that ultimately leads to prison and an agonizing drug withdrawal. But her real challenge comes when she’s released and must figure out how to stay clean and reunite the family that has unraveled in her absence. Through rotating narrators, we hear from the characters whose lives and futures are inextricably linked with Arcelia’s own uncertain fate: her charming, street-savvy son, Cristo, and brilliant daughter Luz; their idealistic teacher, Miss Valenti´n, who battles her own demons; and the enigmatic Snowman, her landlord and confidante. This powerful story of hope and redemption reveals the un- acknowledged side of one of our oldest American cities, where even the bleakest of realities can’t destroy the bonds between parent and child. Rich in humanity, This Side of Providence is a novel of exceptional force and originality.