Synopses & Reviews
It's a long way from Santo Domingo to the Bronx, but if anyone can go the distance, it's the Garcia girls. Four lively latinas plunged from a pampered life of privilege on an island compound into the big-city chaos of New York, they rebel against Mami and Papi's old-world discipline and embrace all that America has to offer. This family epic follows several generations of the Garcia and de la Torre families as they struggle to hold together a sense of family solidarity in the midst of migration, divorces, family disputes, and cultural change. Along with other writers and artists, Alvarez contributed to the articulation of a new Dominican-American identity. In addition, this novel shares a space along with other works written by Caribbean immigrants concerned with exploring the experience of Spanish speakers and their descendants in the United States.
"Alvarez's novel inches backward in time, unfolding as 15 separate but tightly linked tales of the four Garcia girls, daughters in a wealthy Dominican family who fled to the U.S. with their parents to escape the island's dictator. One central voice reads third-person narratives about the girls' experiences, acting as an axis that spools off the girls' individual voices in first-person chapters. Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia take turns describing their trials both with their Old World parents' strict ideas of proper behavior and their New World neighbors' resistance to the presence of immigrants. While the narrators (Blanca Camacho, Anne Henk, Annie Kosuch, Melanie Martinez and Noemi de la Puente) are never distinct enough for listeners to affix specific voices to characters, the book's title is illustrated perfectly by their flawless, accent-free English that switches smoothly to Spanish trills and rhythms when necessary, giving the reading both flair and authenticity. The audiobook enriches Alvarez's silvery prose and already delightful stories, making them dance even more gracefully." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)