A Recommended Book From:

The Washington Post * Today * Sunset Magazine * Country Living * Good Housekeeping 

A wry, tender novel about a Peruvian immigrant mother and a millennial daughter who have one final chance to find common ground

Thirtysomething Flores and her mother, Paula, still live in the same Brooklyn apartment, but that may be the only thing they have in common. It’s been nearly three years since they lost beloved husband and father Martín, who had always been the bridge between them. One day, cleaning beneath his urn, Flores discovers a note written in her mother’s handwriting: Perdóname si te falle. Recuerda que siempre te quise. (“Forgive me if I failed you. Remember that I always loved you.”) But what would Paula need forgiveness for?

Now newfound doubts and old memories come flooding in, complicating each woman’s efforts to carve out a good life for herself—and to support the other in the same. Paula thinks Flores should spend her evenings meeting a future husband, not crunching numbers for a floundering aquarium startup. Flores wishes Paula would ask for a raise at her DollaBills retail job, or at least find a best friend who isn’t a married man.

When Flores and Paula learn they will be forced to move, they must finally confront their complicated past—and decide whether they share the same dreams for the future. Spirited and warm-hearted, Melissa Rivero’s new novel showcases the complexities of the mother-daughter bond with fresh insight and empathy.

About the author(s)

Melissa Rivero is the author of The Affairs of the Falcóns, which won the 2019 New American Voices Award and a 2020 International Latino Book Award. The book was also long-listed for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Brooklyn, she is a graduate of NYU and Brooklyn Law School. She still lives in Brooklyn with her family.


“Deeply compassionate and tender, Melissa Rivero’s new novel paints a striking portrait of the mother-daughter bond with wisdom and empathy. In alternating chapters, we see an immigrant mother and millennial daughter unfold and evolve—with stunning depth. Melissa is a phenomenal talent who combines authenticity and a bold, fresh voice to deliver raw, unforgettable women/characters. Not to be missed!” — Etaf Rum, author of A Woman Is No Man and Evil Eye

“Intimate, elegant, and nuanced, Flores and Miss Paula is as much the story of a vibrant community in flux as it is about the immutability of love and the silences that bind a family. This is an absolute treasure of a novel.” — Patricia Engel, author of Infinite Country

“Melissa Rivero is magnificent. Her vision is clear, her characters are real, and her words are tender and true. In her newest novel, she writes about loyalty, money, loss, and love; she writes about home, the long path to finding it, and all the places we can go only when guided by an author so skilled.” — Julia Phillips, author of Disappearing Earth and Bear

“Heart-rending. . . . This is a treat.”  — Publishers Weekly

"Lively . . . . In a novel that is by turns dishy and soulful, Rivero braids depictions of the frivolity and self-seriousness of start-up life with the authentic and connected culture of Peruvian immigrants in New York City." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Sensitive. . . . Wryly humorous and often tender, Flores and Miss Paula explores the generational divide between two strong women, the effects of grief, and the possibilities of change.”
Shelf Awareness

“Mother-daughter duo Paula and Mónica Flores spring to life through the distinctive voices that alternately narrate Peruvian American author Melissa Rivero’s sophomore novel. In animated prose, the author tackles grief, second acts in life and the smoke and mirrors of tech startup culture.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“Ultimately, how these women independently navigate their jobs allows them to come together — and when they do, Rivero delivers a pleasingly heartwarming resolution with a useful message about not jumping to conclusions about one’s parents.” — New York Times Book Review

“Emotionally charged. . . . an authentic portrayal of the Latino immigrant experience.” — Los Angeles Times

“Ms. Rivero successfully renders two complicated and nuanced heroines who must contend with their personal struggles while the undercurrents of grief and resentment test their relationship. . . . An unexpected love story: one where two Peruvian women of different generations learn how to love themselves; they learn to give each other grace while they honor their previous life and build a new one together.” — Pittsburgh Post Gazette

“This mother-daughter dramedy sparkles with fresh dialogue and vivid settings.” — People

"Spirited and warm-hearted, Melissa Rivero’s new novel showcases the complexities of the mother-daughter bond with fresh insight and empathy.” — Sunset

“This is a story about love and loss, the meaning of family and the importance of community, passion and what happens when it's misdirected or lost entirely. It's one of those books where the characters quickly feel like friends, then family. You won't be able to put it down.” — Good Housekeeping

“Vibrant and endearing.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This book is for anyone who has ever wanted to try and understand their mother. . . . Mother and daughter are forced to finally confront their past in this deeply beautiful novel about moving forward.” — Lupita Aquino,

“A fresh, heartfelt exploration of the complicated relationship between a Peruvian immigrant mother and her modern daughter. With themes of loss, love, secrets and aspirations, this is a graceful and touching story.”
Ms. Magazine

“Rivero’s emotional plot explores a fragile mother-daughter relationship influenced by generational and cultural effects. An exciting second outing after Affairs of the Falcons.” — Library Journal

Country Living

Flores and Miss Paula captures an intricate mother-daughter relationship with warmth and insight.” — Bomb

More Hispanic & Latino