cover image We Need No Wings

We Need No Wings

Ann Dávila Cardinal. Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-7282-5850-8

Cardinal (The Storyteller’s Death) explores grief and spiritual ecstasy in this uplifting story of a woman’s new lease on life. Sixty-year-old Tere Sánchez is still in mourning a year after her husband’s death, when she begins levitating in his garden. The experience terrifies her, and she’s troubled by her lack of control when it happens again. Then she remembers her family is related to a medieval saint, Teresa of Ávila, who experienced episodes of spontaneous levitation. Tere sets out to visit her cousin Isabella, a nun in Ávila, Spain, to learn more about their ancestry. While in Spain, Tere makes a series of acquaintances who help her overcome her grief, including a homeless man named Juan, who she helps apply for college, and Roderigo Romero, the owner of a bike shop who makes a pass at her before settling for her offer of friendship. She also visits reliquaries and other sites dedicated to Saint Teresa, and though Isabella can’t explain Tere’s levitation, she offers useful insights (“The experience of levitation comes at times of great change. The best kind of change. The evolution of self”). Aided by her vibrant characters’ sense of humor, Cardinal thoroughly explores themes of mysticism and friendship. It’s an enlivening tale of second chances. Agent: Linda Camacho, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Sept.)