The Milk Brother is inspired by the true story of the Spanish princess Eulalia, an outspoken firebrand at the Bourbon court during the troubled final years of her family’s reign. After her cloistered childhood at the Spanish court, her youth spent in exile, and a loveless marriage, Eulalia willingly accepts a role as royal emissary far from a crumbling Europe, in the New World. In the company of Tomás Aragón, the son of her one- time wet nurse, and a small-town bookseller with a thirst for adventure, she travels by ship first to a Cuba bubbling with revolutionary fervor then on to the 1893 Chicago World Fair. Publicly, she is there as a representative of the Bourbon dynasty and a guest of the Fair. Privately, she is in America to find a publisher for her scandalous, incendiary autobiography, a secret manuscript that if published might well turn the old world order on its head.
Acevedo’s new novel is an atmospheric and gripping tale of love, adventure, power and the quest to take control of one’s destiny. Bourbon Spain, Revolutionary Cuba, and fin-de-siècle America are vividly rendered and Eulalia’s personal rebellion resonates long after the final page of this captivating saga.
“With The Distant Marvels Acevedo makes a significant contribution to contemporary literature . . . This is a major, uniquely powerful, and startlingly beautiful novel that should bring Acevedo’s name to the top echelon of this generation’s writers.”
—Booklist (Starred Review)
“The Distant Marvels is a wonderful story about the stories we tell each other and what they reveal about ourselves.”
—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Irresistible moments of rebellion and bravery define this tale.”
—Kirkus (Starred Review)
“As Hurricane Flora blows past Fidel Castro’s new Cuba, Acevedo’s heartbreaking and humane novel comes to a memorable conclusion.”
Chantel Acevedo is the author of A Falling Star (Carolina Wren Press, 2014), winner of the Doris Bakwin Award; and Love and Ghost Letters (St. Martins, 2006), winner of the Latino International Book Award. She studied writing at the University of Miami with the late Lestor Goran. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at Auburn University, Alabama, where she founded the Auburn Writers Conference and edits the Southern Humanities Review.