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Covering the Sun with My Hand

It’s the summer of 1979 and Julia Acevedo plans her escape to college; away from her "too traditional" family. On her way to liberation, her twin brother, Rene, is stricken with mental illness. While accepting the sacrifices demanded of her, Julia searches for the happiness she feels she’s being denied. Going against the grain of her upbringing, Julia ultimately opens up to the incredible possibilities of life, deepening her relationship with her brother in the process.


2015 International Latino Book Award Winner, Second place for Best First Novel.
Covering the Sun with My Hand
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Pub Date: December 16, 2016 (2nd ed)
Language: English
Paperback: 318 pages
Genre: Fiction
ISBN-13: 978-1-5391222-6-5


"Theresa Varela's Covering the Sun with My Hand is a wonderful read. Varela seamlessly combines subjects and sensibilities as far-ranging as spiritualism and pop culture, the traditions and customs of a Puerto Rican household and the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood, a coming-of-age story and an analysis of mental illness. Varela achieves all of this through lucid, intimate first-person prose and some great narrative stitching."
~  Chris C. (Goodreads)
"With many hints of Junot Diaz and Esmerelda Santiago, this story is delicately woven, and beautifully told from the perspective of a first generation New Yorker from a Puerto Rican family. It's a unique tale of a Latino family in Brooklyn that is off the rails, and a prodigal daughter trying to survive the imminent crash."
~  Liz F. (Goodreads)
"Dreams deferred, loyalty to family, emotional and spiritual growth, love lost and regained, and true understanding of one's self are some of the big ideas covered in this wonderful work of fiction."
~ Zacarias R. (Goodreads)
"This coming-of-age novel beautifully portrays young Julia's struggles with balancing the challenges of love and family as she discovers how to stay true to herself. Two thumbs up–masterful!"
~  Celest L. (Goodreads)
"Covering the Sun with My Hand is a much-needed and insightful exploration of mental illness in a Puerto Rican family and how it impacts on the individual members. It gives voice to an issue too-often hidden within our culture. I read this novel when it was first published in 2013, and it still lives with me these many years later. That is the mark of a book well-written, and characters well drawn."
~ Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, author of Daughters of the Stone, A Woman of Endurance, and Indómita

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