Coney Island Siren
Call it coincidence or call it fate when Maggie Fuentes, rummaging through a Coney Island flea market, stumbles upon a handwritten diary whose author, a young girl of the nineteenth century named Ellen, reveals dreadful secrets that parallel Maggie’s own. Maggie sinks deep into the sinister maelstrom of her lover, Police Officer, Frank Ramirez, until the stark urgency of lines written by a kindred spirit compel her to confront the reality of her- and their- lives. Far removed from each other in time but bonded by the white-capped ocean, amusement park locale, and converging torments, it seems particularly apt that the sleight-of-hand landscape of luck and chance provides the setting for Maggie’s harrowing and hypnotic encounter with turmoil, then kismet, and ultimately, clarity and reawakening.
2020 International Latino Book Award Winner.
Coney Island Siren
Publisher: Pollen Press Publishing
Pub Date: May 9, 2019
Paperback: 382 pages
Genre: Fiction, Noir
"Varela’s portrayal of Maggie’s ordeal is a tour de force in its depiction of a battered woman struggling to recover her mind and soul."
~ Kirkus Reviews
"The book brings up questions of what life in this material realm means and what might be expected of those who exist in it. While every reader might not want to linger on the philosophical implications of the novel, this sort of thinker is exactly what I’m looking for in a book."
~ Sacred Chickens
"Varela is an excellent storyteller as this book has strong character development. Varela not only gives glimpses into the lives of all the main characters but their past trauma that has influenced the individuals that we read about."
~ Michelle (Goodreads)
"For me a novel lives and dies on the creation of real, riveting characters out of which a plot evolves. And that's what the author achieves in Coney Island Siren."
~ Venantius (Amazon)