Frontera Streetby Tanya Maria Barrientos
A richly imagined debut novel of friendship and forgiveness, Frontera Street explores the physical, cultural, and emotional borders that shape our lives. Carrying secrets and an unborn child, Dee Paxton leaves the affluent neighborhood of her youth and walks straight into Frontera Street Fabrics-a little shop in the barrio only blocks from her home, but worlds/i>… See more details below
A richly imagined debut novel of friendship and forgiveness, Frontera Street explores the physical, cultural, and emotional borders that shape our lives. Carrying secrets and an unborn child, Dee Paxton leaves the affluent neighborhood of her youth and walks straight into Frontera Street Fabrics-a little shop in the barrio only blocks from her home, but worlds apart. Though Alma Cruz is not impressed with her new coworker, she can't help but appreciate her need for a friend. A single mother herself, Alma knows what it's like to raise a child alone-and she's not without her own secrets. But there is a price to pay for months of lies, and certain lines can be dangerous to cross.
Author Biography: Tanya Maria Barrientos, a journalist for more than 20 years, is a staff writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her fiction was awarded a 2001 fellowship by the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and the 2001 Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Born in Guatemala, she grew up in a Texas border town like the characters in her book. She is currently working on her next novel.
- Penguin Group (USA)
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.34(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.69(d)
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Whether you want to read it mother-daughter style, in a book club, or just by yourself, you'll love Frontera Street! It's touching and a bit of a tear-jerker and romance, but there's definitely no sensory overload. Check it out!
Frontera Street is a well-crafted story set in a richly detailed setting, a border town between Texas and Mexico where the divisions between super-rich Anglos and poor Mexicans are more sharply defined and strictly observed than the actual border between the two countries. The characters are fleshed out down to the last detail and their trials and tribulations are completely understandable to the reader. Frontera Street has three narrators, Dee, Alma, and Socorro, and each narrator's thoughts are lucid and incisive. The character Alma's dependence on the Virgin Mary and a Mexican folk spirit who may or not be real give the book an added spiritual dimension. The author's main flaw is a tendency toward a black-and-white view of the two groups even as her characters try to break down the walls between them. The Mexican-Americans are canonized, with even their kitchen rituals described in slow, nearly holy language, while almost nothing positive is said about the white Anglos who form Dee's world; sad, since the lesson of the book is to look beyond outward appearances and yet the author derides the Anglos' green lawns and swimming pools as if they were a measure of character. The ending was a bit of a stretch - all the pieces fell into place just a little too quickly to be believed - but overall Frontera Street is a very memorable story and an excellent first novel for Tanya Maria Barrientos.
This book is filled with real life. It depicts a community with such detail you almost want to move there. Alma and Dee's world my seem so diffrent on the surface but they are very alike. I enjoyed this books cultural lesson as well.
The perfect summer reading book -- light, quick but also a book with a heart. Read this book because we all have secrets and they all have a way of being found out. We all want to have a family (either biological and/or one based on our friendships) and we all want to fit into the family matrix. Dee and Alma think they are too different to be friends and care for one another; however, deep down they are very much alike. It is a shame when society wants us only to live in our small pockets and we choose to stay in those pockets -- life is too short for such small-mindedness. I think the lesson here is to follow your heart and accept people for who they are -- not who you want them to be. Please, please read this book. It is a wonderful gem.