REVIEW: The Fitful Sleep of Immigrants by Orlando Ortega-Medina


Award-winning author and immigration attorney Orlando Ortega-Medina returns to 1990s San Francisco in The Fitful Sleep of Immigrants, a powerful family drama that plays out within a captivating legal thriller.

Attorney Marc Mendes, the estranged son of a prominent rabbi and a burned-out lawyer with addiction issues, plots his exit from the big city to a more peaceful life in idyllic Napa Valley. But before he can realize his dream, the US government summons his Salvadoran life-partner Isaac Perez to immigration court, threatening him with deportation.

As Marc battles to save Isaac, his world is further upended by a dark and alluring client, who aims to tempt him away from his messy life. Torn between his commitment to Isaac and the pain-numbing escapism offered by his client, Marc is forced to choose between the lesser of two evils while confronting his twin demons of past addiction and guilt over the death of his first lover.



📕 very well-written

📘 surprising plot

📙 emotionally engaging

📗 fast paced



This is a complex tale that is very nuanced. Orlando Ortega-Medina’s writing is very luxurious – that’s the best way I can describe it. There are stories woven together in this novel that seem very different but all tangle together as the story progresses.
Attorney, Marc is a recovering addict, an out gay man who was estranged from his family. He comes from a rabbinical family and was terrified to tell his father that he was gay. Although he might seem like he has it together on the outside, Marc is struggling to maintain his sobriety, incorporating his partner into his family, facing his partner’s potential deportation, and having a very strained relationship at work. His partner Isaac is seeking asylum in the US while struggling to deal with the loss of his mother.
Enter Alejandro into the equation. He is a very archetypal Homme fatal, living with the truth lurking around every corner while covered by vague lies. He lures Marc back towards the world he is trying to keep behind him, challenging his boundaries and pushing his buttons. As the novel progresses, Alejandro becomes more and more obsessive and begins to tear down everything Isaac and Marc have built and everything they are hoping for.
While Alejandro was necessary for the plot, I found myself having a bit of trouble suspending my disbelief. He seemed to focus on Marc so quickly and really, without reason. It’s a minor issue though – and he was certainly an unsettling character.
There are some twists in this novel…and a whopper at the end that I absolutely didn’t see coming… it’s definitely entertaining. I think I went into this expecting that it wouldn’t be nearly as engaging and mysterious as it was. It was a pleasant surprise to find such a convoluted plot.



🖊 Author

🖊 Goodreads



I received an ARC of The Fitful Sleep of Immigrants by Orlando Ortega-Medina  from Amble Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.

star ratings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.