Empress of the Splendid Season / Edition 1by Oscar Hijuelos
Pub. Date: 12/28/2003
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
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I read this book for a multicultural reading group. I definitely enjoyed this book for it was rich in detail and insight into the human condition. It's refreshing to read a book with a hispanic, specifically cuban, perspective and I think any person from an ethnic background will relate to this book. It's a simple story about a cleaning woman and her ordinary lower-middle class life. The main critique I have of this book is sometimes I felt the book was specifically saying "look this is what it's like to grow up Hispanic and poor in New York City" like when the son gets arrested b/c he's with some rough characters, or we can't have anything expensive in our apartment b/c we can't afford security. Also I find it hard believing the main character would have had the intellectual capacity to understand exactly why the wealthy family she worships has succeeded so much in life despite her prominent family background in Cuba. But overall it's a great book. And I enjoy the Manhattan setting b/c I've enjoyed trips there. It is a long book and I can't say I entirely recommend it. Although I don't regret the time I spent reading it for a book group.
fans of hijuelos will not be disappointed with this wonderful novel