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Posted May 31, 2010
GOMEZ DEBUT NOVEL A WINNER
TRY TO REMEMBER
Grand Central Publishing
$13.99 - Paperback
Reviewer: Annie Slessman
As a debut novel, TRY TO REMEMBER, by Iris Gomez does not have the "feel" of a first publication. The story is of a young girls struggle to keep her family intact as their father battles a mental illness. Gabriela, the main character of this story, is given the responsibility by her parents to meet their every need without question. She is constantly pressed into service to type and correct her father's ramblings on a daily basis as he scribbles his meaningless letters to everyone in the hope of getting back the millions he feels he is owed. Who owes this money and the fact that there is no money to recover makes Gabriela's job even harder for her to comprehend.
Her family demands strict obedience to their rules and requests. Gabriela who is somewhat Americanized, vacillates between understanding what is the "right" thing to do about the demands of her parents. Her father segways from calm to violent and takes his violence out on anyone who happens to be in his line of vision at the time of his "attacks." Gabriela and her brothers try desperately to get their mother to aid them in dealing with their father's violence and her reaction is one of trying to ignore the problem in the hope that it will go away eventually.
This book is a study of Miami's Spanish community, family relationships, and the fears of those who have immigrated to the United States and the views of a growing teenager. Not to be dismissed, this work is worthy of a reader's time.
Iris Gomez is an immigration lawyer and law school lecturer. She currently lives in the Boston area with her family.
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Posted June 30, 2010
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