Nov 21, 2023
When I saw the stunning cover of An American Immigrant by Johanna Vann, my interest went from curious to "I want one now" in the click of a mouse. But I have to admit, after talking to Johanna for the better part of an hour and really getting to understand the story behind this story as well as Johanna's own story, I knew this was an important book for Christians to read. Listen in to see why.
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Listening to Johanna Vann talk about her mother, her childhood, and the people and culture of Colombia is enough to make anyone want to grab their passports and hop a plane. Or maybe I'm just excited to think of the delicious food that isn't too (heat) spicy for my ultra-gringo tastebuds.
But seriously, Johanna describes her book as a book about messy families, immigration, and redemption. Add to that the multi-generational aspect and semi-epistolary format (journals! YAY!), and you've got a book that couldn't be more "right my alley" if she'd written it to order. Yes, my book is already here. Yes, it's right by my chair, and yes, it will probably bump the half dozen other books I'd planned as November reads. Oops!
Twenty-five-year-old Melanie Carvajal, a hardworking but struggling journalist for a Miami newspaper, loves her Colombian mother but regularly ignores her phone calls, frustrated that she never quite takes the time to understand Melanie’s life. When the opportunity arises for a big assignment that might save her flagging career, Melanie follows the story to the land of her mother’s birth. She soon realizes Colombia has the potential to connect her, after all these years, to something she’s long ignored: her heritage, the love of her mother, her family, and the richest parts of herself.
Colombia offers more than a chance to make a name for herself as a writer. It is a place of untold stories.
Inspired by real-life events, An American Immigrant is a story of culture and community, of abiding commitment to family, and of embracing our culture and the generations that have come before.