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Cover Reveal: EVERYTHING WE NEVER HAD by Randy Ribay

Cover reveal time! From the author of the National Book Award finalist Patron Saints of Nothing comes a poignant intergenerational saga of Filipino American boys grappling with identity, masculinity, and their fraught father-son relationships. Everything We Never Had by Randy Ribay is coming to shelves August 27, 2024.

Watsonville, California, 1930. Francisco Maghabol barely ekes out a living in the fields of California. As he spends what little money he earns at dance halls and faces increasing violence from white men in town, Francisco wonders if he should’ve never left the Philippines.

Stockton, California, 1965. Between school days full of prejudice and night shifts at his aunt’s restaurant, Emil refuses to follow in the footsteps of his labor organizer father, Francisco. He’s going to make it in this country, no matter who or what he has to leave behind.

Denver, Colorado, 1983. Chris is determined to prove that his overbearing father, Emil, can’t control him. But when an assignment on ancestral history sends Chris out of the football field and into the library, he discovers a hunger to know more about Filipino history—even if his father dismisses his interest as un-American and unimportant.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2020. Enzo struggles with anxiety as a global pandemic breaks out and his abrasive grandfather moves in. While tensions are high between his dad and his lolo, Enzo’s daily walks with Lolo Emil have him wondering if maybe he can help bridge their decades-long rift.

Told in multiple perspectives, Everything We Never Had unfolds like a nesting doll where each Maghabol boy forges his own path amid family and societal expectations, passing down his flaws, values, and virtues to the next generation, until it’s up to Enzo to see how he can braid all these strands and men together.

Scroll down to see the cover and read a sneak peek. And remember to preorder your copy here!

Illustration by Julian Callos, Design by Theresa Evangelista

As the car approaches, Enzo waves, his dad nods, and his grandfather glares. For a brief moment, three generations of Maghabol men align like planets. They share the same round face, wide nose, and warm brown eyes. In everything else—hair, height, body type, skin color—they’re gradients of one another.

There’s no parking out front, so the moment passes as they continue down the street in search of an open spot.

“Ay,” Enzo’s mom says, standing and stretching. “Your dad already looks upset. They must’ve already gotten into it. You ready for this?”

“No. You?”

She laughs. “No.”

A few minutes later, Chris and Lolo Emil walk around the corner, arms loaded with luggage. And to Enzo’s surprise, there’s a dog trotting alongside them. It looks like a black Lab, but it must be mixed with something else because it’s smaller than most other black Labs and has a tuft of white fur on its chest.

Enzo smiles and turns to his mom. Maybe this won’t be all bad. “I didn’t know he got a dog.”

“Neither did I.” She mutters something in Spanish under her breath that Enzo doesn’t catch—some curse, he figures, since she’s never been a dog person—then she puts on a smile and greets Lolo Emil with a kiss to each cheek.

“Julia,” he says, pronouncing it the English way, as usual. “Good to see you again.” He’s clearly uncomfortable with the physical affection but endures it, then turns to Enzo and shakes his hand with a crushing grip. “Eric. You’ve grown about a foot since the last time I saw you. What are you now, fourteen?”

“Sixteen, Lolo. And I actually started going by ‘Enzo’ a few years ago.”

Lolo Emil raises an eyebrow.

“Enrique Lorenzo,” Enzo explains. “En. Zo.”

Lolo Emil turns to Chris. “Are you going to let him put that on a résumé?”

“He’ll put whatever name he wants, Dad,” Chris says.

Lolo Emil shakes his head. “Well, I’m still going to call you Eric. That’s a proper name. But while we’re on the subject, quit it with the ‘Lolo’ business. We live in America. Call me ‘Grandpa.’ ”

“Um, okay,” Enzo says, deciding that he will call Lolo Emil “Grandpa” when Lolo Emil calls him “Enzo.”

Lolo Emil turns his attention to the house, looking it up and down. “I thought you were going to upgrade, Christopher.”

Chris takes a deep breath. “I told you, we don’t need to upgrade, Dad. The house is perfect for us.”

Lolo Emil scoffs. “A proper house should have a guest room, more than one bathroom, a dishwasher. . . . But at least you didn’t buy across the river over in Whitman.”

Julia’s forced smile slides into a sneer. She grew up in Whitman.

“Can I pet your dog?” Enzo asks, eager to change the subject.

Lolo Emil nods. “This is Thor.”

“Hi, Thor.” Enzo kneels and the dog rushes over, tongue lolling out to one side as he leans against Enzo’s legs. 

“He better be house-trained,” Chris says.

“I’ve already told you that he is, Christopher.”

“Good.” And with that clever retort, Chris disappears into the house.

“Here,” Julia says, reaching for one of Emil’s suitcases, “let me help you with your things. Get you settled in.”

“Nonsense.” He nods toward Enzo. “The boy can carry them.”

The boy.

Julia’s smile falters. “Sure. Enzo, help your lolo.”

Hoping this will not be a long visit, Enzo takes the bags and begins lugging them up the steps and into the house. He wonders what’s inside—they’re heavier than he expects.

Much heavier.


Excerpt from: Everything We Never Said, Randy Ribay

Text copyright © 2024 by Randy Ribay

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