Pura Vida

Fiction - Suspense
286 Pages
Reviewed on 07/03/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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!

Romuald Dzemo

Pura Vida by Annette Montez Kolda is a thriller that features a family saga and an unusual fight to stop terrorism. The Lopez family has had its share of troubles — undocumented immigration, teenage pregnancy, drugs, and deportation — but they are about to experience the worst pain in their history in the USA: death in the family. Sister Bridget is a middle-aged nun, athletic, and physically tough, a woman dedicated to fighting terrorism along the stretch of Texas that shares boundaries with Mexico. Now, a group of terrorists is determined to enlist hate groups to start a racial war. Sister Bridget, together with fifteen-year-old Miguel Lopez, sets out to stop the terrorists, but they could be too late.

Annette Montez Kolda’s novel is riveting; it’s a suspenseful thriller with strong storylines, a book that is just so hard to put down and the author has done an amazing job in weaving subplots that create a pulsating sense of suspense. While Miguel and Sister Bridget race after terrorists, the boy’s mother is in search of her missing husband who needs to know that their eldest son has died. It was clever to create a lead character in a Reverend Sister, an unlikely character to take up arms to fight terrorists, and she comes across as compelling in the role. Readers will love her! The writing is deceptively simple and the prose flows with a rare fluidity, a kind of beautiful music to the ears of readers. Pura Vida is a riveting story that reflects so much of what is happening in the US and the world, a great story told by a master storyteller. It was delightful and satisfying. I loved every chapter of this page-turner.