Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Pura Vida by Annette Montez Kolda follows Sister Bridget Ann who does all she can to help the community, even attempting to stop a robbery. When she's asked to watch over Perla Lopez's children while she searches for her husband in Mexico, Sister Bridget doesn't hesitate. Miguel Lopez is attempting to change a tire when two men approach him with an enticing offer: deliver a backpack to a university and they'll pay him 500 dollars. After he discovers the two men are involved in a terrorist plot, he teams up with Sister Bridget to stop them before it's too late.
The Lopez family has gone through so many trials: the father disappeared ten years prior, teenage pregnancy, the death of the oldest son, and past drinking and drug use. They're still finding their way, but they're strong and face a new beginning at the end. It's a fulfilling ending: bittersweet, hopeful, and heartwarming. Sister Bridget Ann is a delight, shining in every scene she's in, especially when she's with Miguel. They're opposites, so a lot of their moments show the contrast there, with humorous banter and the subtle budding of friendship. Sister Bridget Ann is honest, true to herself and her beliefs, and breaks stereotypes in all the best ways. Annette Montez Kolda creates honest characters with strengths and flaws, real people with a lot of heart. Outstanding, compelling, and honest, Pura Vida is a story of struggle and hardships, but more importantly, it's a story of family and faith. A must-read novel!