How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Author:Julia Alvarez Uprooted from their family home in the Dominican Republic, the four García sisters - Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía -- arrive in New York City in 1960 to find a life far different from the genteel existence of maids, manicures, and extended family they left behind. What they have lost -- and what they find -- is revealed in the ... more »fifteen interconnected stories that make up this exquisite novel from one of the premier novelists of our time.
Just as it is a feature of the immigrant experience to always look back, the novel begins with thirty-nine-year-old Yolanda's return to the island and moves magically backward in time to the final days before the exile that is to transform the sisters' lives. Along the way we witness their headlong plunge into the American mainstream. Although the girls try to distance themselves from their island life by ironing their hair, forgetting their Spanish, and meeting boys unchaperoned, they remain forever caught between the old world and the new. With bright humor and rare insight, Julia Alvarez vividly evokes the tensions and joys of belonging to two distinct cultures in a novel that is utterly authentic and full of irrepressible spirit.« less
Vanessa M. reviewed How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents on
Helpful Score: 7
This is a great book about afamily, including four sisters, who left their home, in the Dominican Republic, to New York City in 1960. The chapters are tells about the different family members and how they are adjusting and trying hard to escape the Dominican characteristics to be normal Americans. Great story!
It was an enjoyable tale, but I found the author's style a bit affected. Telling the story backwards was an interesting twist, but it made it hard to keep track of who the characters were and by the time I was finished, I needed to read the book again in order to reorient myself to the story. But it was not so interesting that I wanted to take the trouble to read it again.
I took a moment before I wrote this review because I wanted to pull all my thoughts together. I read this book for a book club and I just wasn't sure how I really felt about this one.
I flip flopped back and forth as to whether I liked the fact that the book started in the present and went back in time with each set of stories. I love flashbacks, but I am not sure if I like going backwards in time - makes for hard reading. I had to take mental note as to the ages of the girls, where they were located and what was going on, it was hard.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was very interesting to read a book that was out of my culture and out of my normal realm of reading. I know that this story could be close to a true story because I have a great friend from my Enterprise Rent a Car days who was Panama (not the city, the country) and she had stories of her "Tias" and all of her cousins.
I would recommend this book to all of my friends who love to read stories involving sisters and families. This is a great read about how a family becomes what it has and how the smallest events affect each one in the family.