The Grief Keeper

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
Alexandra Villasante
Oct 17, 2019

The Grief Keeper tells the story of a young girl named Marisol who is trying to immigrate with her younger sister to America after the murder of their brother. She is caught crossing the border and told she must participate in an experimental study, or be sent back home to El Salvador. As part of the study, Marisol becomes a grief keeper, taking upon the grief of Rey, a young woman struggling with mental illness, to ensure she can stay in the country.

The most compelling aspect of the book, in my opinion, was Marisol coming to terms with her sexuality. Throughout the book, Marisol reveals more and more of her past until the very end, where she outright states "I am gay". This element of the plot was something I found very compelling, because I normally do not think about the struggles of LGBTQ youth in places like El Salvador, where crime is rampant. I think this book did a good job of showing that these issues are worldwide.


Written by
Varsha V. from BV YA Lit Council

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