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Try to Remember
     

Try to Remember

3.8 9
by Iris Gomez
 

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If she tries, Gabriela can almost remember when her father went off to work . . . when her mother wasn't struggling to undo the damage he caused . . . when a short temper didn't lead to physical violence. But Gabi cannot live in the past, not when one more outburst could jeopardize her family's future. So she trades the life of a normal Miami teenager for a career

Overview

If she tries, Gabriela can almost remember when her father went off to work . . . when her mother wasn't struggling to undo the damage he caused . . . when a short temper didn't lead to physical violence. But Gabi cannot live in the past, not when one more outburst could jeopardize her family's future. So she trades the life of a normal Miami teenager for a career of carefully managing her father's delusions and guarding her mother's secrets. As Gabi navigates her family's twisting path of lies and revelations, relationships and loss, she finds moments of happiness in unexpected places. Ultimately Gabi must discover the strength she needs to choose what's right for her: serving her parents or a future of her own."

Fresh and vibrant . . . I adored every single page." —Mameve Medwed, national bestselling author of How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life and Of Men and Their Mothers

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"What holds the reader is the drama of each intense home scenario, scary and tender... The clash between traditional immigrant values and feminist

independence is powerful... In her debut novel, Colombian immigrant poet Gomez dramatizes the universal dilemma of a loving family

serving as 'both joy and prison.'"

Karen Holt
Far from the stereotypical wisecracking rebel or clueless outsider, Gabi is an irresistible narrator-observant, compassionate, and utterly genuine-trying to balance family loyalty and a yearning to discover 'Who did I dare to be?'
O Magazine
Karen Holt - O Magazine
"Far from the stereotypical wisecracking rebel or clueless outsider, Gabi is an irresistible narrator-observant, compassionate, and utterly genuine-trying to balance family loyalty and a yearning to discover 'Who did I dare to be?'"
National Bestselling Author Mameve Medwed
"This stunning debut offers a fresh and vibrant coming of age novel full of universal truths and dazzling particulars. Gabriela is a character you'll root for and grow to love. TRY TO REMEMBER is a book impossible to forget. I adored every single page."
New York Times bestselling author Jenna Blum
"Lyrical, poignant, and smart, as compassionate and hopeful as it is heartbreaking...a novel you will never forget."
From the Publisher
"Lyrical, poignant, and smart, as compassionate and hopeful as it is heartbreaking...a novel you will never forget."—New York Times bestselling author Jenna Blum"

This stunning debut offers a fresh and vibrant coming of age novel full of universal truths and dazzling particulars. Gabriela is a character you'll root for and grow to love. TRY TO REMEMBER is a book impossible to forget. I adored every single page."—National Bestselling Author Mameve Medwed"

Poet and immigration lawyer Gomez (When Comets Rained) mines her own experiences in her enthralling fiction debut, the story of a family of Colombian immigrants adjusting to life in '70s-era Florida. Gabriela De la Paz has earned the nickname Auxiliadora ('the Helper') for all her efforts translating and interpreting American culture for her parents. The frustrated daughter of Roberto and Evangelina, Gabi must act far older than her teen years when her Papi, schizophrenic and untreated, can't keep a job and gets into trouble with the police because of his violent behavior. Evangelina must hide her sewing and cleaning jobs to avoid Roberto's wrath (he disapproves of women working) while Gabi's brothers, Manolo and Pablo, fear his physical abuse. Gomez charts Gabi's challenges as she gains confidence, educates herself, and finds inspiration from Lara, a 'modern' woman for whom she babysits, in this intense and sensitive tale with crossover YA appeal. (May)"Publishers Weekly"

What holds the reader is the drama of each intense home scenario, scary and tender... The clash between traditional immigrant values and feminist

independence is powerful... In her debut novel, Colombian immigrant poet Gomez dramatizes the universal dilemma of a loving family

serving as 'both joy and prison.'"—Booklist"

Far from the stereotypical wisecracking rebel or clueless outsider, Gabi is an irresistible narrator-observant, compassionate, and utterly genuine-trying to balance family loyalty and a yearning to discover 'Who did I dare to be?'"—Karen Holt, O Magazine

Publishers Weekly
Poet and immigration lawyer Gomez (When Comets Rained) mines her own experiences in her enthralling fiction debut, the story of a family of Colombian immigrants adjusting to life in '70s-era Florida. Gabriela De la Paz has earned the nickname Auxiliadora (“the Helper”) for all her efforts translating and interpreting American culture for her parents. The frustrated daughter of Roberto and Evangelina, Gabi must act far older than her teen years when her Papi, schizophrenic and untreated, can't keep a job and gets into trouble with the police because of his violent behavior. Evangelina must hide her sewing and cleaning jobs to avoid Roberto's wrath (he disapproves of women working) while Gabi's brothers, Manolo and Pablo, fear his physical abuse. Gomez charts Gabi's challenges as she gains confidence, educates herself, and finds inspiration from Lara, a “modern” woman for whom she babysits, in this intense and sensitive tale with crossover YA appeal. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446556194
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
05/05/2010
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,344,795
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are Saying About This

Mameve Medwed
This stunning debut offers a fresh and vibrant coming of age novel full of universal truths and dazzling particulars. Gabriela is a character you'll root for and grow to love. TRY TO REMEMBER is a book impossible to forget. I adored every single page.
Jenna Blum
Lyrical, poignant, and smart, as compassionate and hopeful as it is heartbreaking...a novel you will never forget.

Meet the Author

IRIS GOMEZ is an award-winning writer and nationally-recognized expert on the rights of immigrants in the United States. She is the author of two poetry collections, Housicwhissick Blue (Edwin Mellen Press, 2003) and When Comets Rained (CustomWords, 2005), which earned a prestigious national poetry prize from the University of California. Her work is widely published in a variety of literary and other periodicals. A respected public interest immigration lawyer and law school lecturer, she has represented civil rights groups and individuals in high impact cases and won professional awards for her accomplishments—including a Las Primeras award for Latina trailblazers in Massachusetts. She has frequently been called upon to write and speak on immigration-related topics and has appeared in the media, including on the nationally televised Cristina show and Boston's celebrated bilingual late-night radio program ¡Con Salsa!

An immigrant from Cartagena, Colombia, she spent formative years in Miami, Florida and has also lived in New York City, Michigan, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. She and her family now make their home in the Boston area.

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Try to Remember 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
susanjoyce More than 1 year ago
Try to Remember is a beautifully written, haunting story of a girl torn between caring for her immigrant mother and father--neither is facile in English and her father suffers from a mysterious mental impairment of which her mother is ashamed--and her dreams to soar higher than her parent's aspirations for her (in school, in love, and in her someday career) This conflict causes her to question her loyalty to her family as it collides with fealty to her own future. Page turning, poetic, and achingly true--I highly recommend this wonderful book that captures time, place and the plight of a child of immigrants.
Slessman More than 1 year ago
TRY TO REMEMBER Iris Gomez Grand Central Publishing ISBN:978-0-446-55619-4 $13.99 - Paperback 350 pages 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.
Katrina-Paradis More than 1 year ago
I read Try to Remember by Iris Gomez, published by Grand Central Publishing. The main character in my book was a young girl named Gabriella. She used to live in Cuba, until her parents immigrated to the United States. Her family consists of four members, her mom Evangeline, her father Roberto, and her two younger brothers Pablo, and Manalo. Gabriella is just a young girl who has moved to the United States when she was only 13 years old. She has to help out her father by fixing his papers so he can find a job. He writes in Spanish and in English so the papers don’t make any sense. When she fixes them she hopes that they will reply but they never do. Roberto has some anger problems, and he comes up with all of these crazy money schemes. None of them ever work though because nobody wants to help him with his schemes. When Roberto first gets a job with the help of his hermano (brother).Sadly Roberto gets fired his first day on the job. He had a nice job sweeping at a tailors shop, and he got mad at one of the customers. He started yelling and he insulted the customer so he was fired. Gabriella now had to find him another job. She had to write his insane letters and look in the newspapers for new jobs every day. At one point she got very tired of having to retype all of his papers that made no sense at all, so she told him that she had too much homework to. I really liked this book because it related to my life in some ways. For instance, my brother is like Roberto in some ways because he gets mad very easily. At first when I started the book I didn’t think that I was going to finish it because it was very slow. After a while it started to go at a faster pace so I really got into it. I learned some new Spanish vocabulary from this book because it was a book that was partially in Spanish and in English. I had to look up many words and sentences such as mi’ja which means daughter. I would really recommend this book to some people because it is a good book and it can relate to most people’s lives for some parts of it.
Booklovertiff More than 1 year ago
I'm always drawn to the cover for some reason,good or bad.I don't judge them I just find it interesting.Now I got this book because of the summary,it was romantic,funny,sad,and all around amazing.If you haven't read it yet,you should!
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