Conquistadora

Conquistadora

by Esmeralda Santiago
3.6 164

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Overview

Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago

As a young girl growing up in Spain, Ana Larragoity Cubillas is powerfully drawn to Puerto Rico by the diaries of an ancestor who traveled there with Ponce de Leon. And in handsome twin brothers Ramon and Inocente—both in love with Ana—she finds a way to get there. Marrying Ramon at the age of eighteen, she travels across the ocean to Hacienda los Gemelos, a remote sugar plantation the brothers have inherited. But soon the Civil War erupts in the United States, and Ana finds her livelihood, and perhaps even her life, threatened by the very people on whose backs her wealth has been built: the hacienda’s slaves, whose richly drawn stories unfold alongside her own in this epic novel of love, discovery and adventure.  




From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307596772
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/12/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 467,896
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Esmeralda Santiago is the author of the memoirs When I Was Puerto Rican, Almost a Woman, which she adapted into a Peabody Award–winning film for PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre, and The Turkish Lover; the novel América’s Dream; and a children’s book, A Doll for Navidades. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and House & Garden, among other publications, and on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she lives in New York.

www.esmeraldasantiago.com


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Conquistadora 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 163 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Spain, Ana Cubillas dreams of living in Puerto Rico after reading the diaries of her sixteenth century ancestor who accompanied de Leon in the New World. Ana finds a means to cross the Atlantic when she meets twins Ramón and Inocente who inherit jointly a sugar plantation in Puerto Rico. The brothers fall in love with her, but she marries Ramon in 1844. Soon afterward, she persuades the siblings the good life is at their Hacienda Los Gemelos plantation. However, the island is not the tropical paradise of her dreams. As the American ideological divide heats up and threatens to boil into the Caribbean, she finds the oppressive heat unbearable and the feral land just outside the hacienda dangerously unwelcoming. Finally Ana is disturbed by the slave labor employed on her Hacienda. Still a romantic at heart, she sacrifices everything for her first and only love Hacienda Los Gemelos. The underlying theme of this super mainstream story is similar to Esmeralda Santiago's autobiography When I Was Puerto Rican, which focused on having a foot on the island and one in NYC; this enjoyable tale likewise has a foot in real Puerto Rico and whimsically in Ana's romanticized Puerto Rico. Well written and very insightful, readers will relish this engaging mid ninetieth century look at Puerto Rico (and initially Spain). Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a longer story, a plus as far as I'm concerned, (400+/- book pages: 2.5 nook pages per book page.) that is very well thought out. It is not suspensful, as clear foreshadowing allows you to forecast upcoming events, but it is entertaining. I kept thinking that I would love to see this as a movie.
Tambien More than 1 year ago
Conquistadora would be great for book club discussions, particularly for people who know and appreciate Puerto Rico and its history. It's a quick and interesting read. The only negative for me was the sexual content, which sensationalized the characters but took away from the important history being conveyed. Nevertheless, I look forward to Esmeralda Santiago's sequel to this historical novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ana was a true Conquistadora...at all cost. I loved her unforgiven agenda, ambition, tenecity. I found myself routing for her and greatly disliking her in-laws and the society/culture that defined them. But by the end of the book I found my emotions turned upside down, as Ana's selfishness took over her life and mine as I could not turn the pages fast enough. Santiago played with those emotions just like Ana contolled the lives at Hacienda los Gemelos. Many of the cultural idiosycracies described in the book about men, women, and their environment are still visible in 2011 Puerto Rico. A true work of art!
gch61 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The strength of women against a harsh environment and the success of an individual. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction.
Hahavens More than 1 year ago
In some ways predictable, but nonetheless enjoyable, this is a sweeping "emigrating to the new world" saga of a woman pursuing her dream (sometimes for, some times in spite of her loved ones... reminiscent of Scarlett O'Hara) While I wouldn't qualify this as an icon of literature, and the author made some odd choices, it was still a very enjoyable escapist novel, that swept me up in the story and characters, and kept me lost in its world until the last page, which left me scope to imagine how the story might continue... Especially as I read much of it overlooking the same warm Caribbean waters and similar fields of sugar cane in which the bulk of the novel is set. Well worth a read.
bookEG More than 1 year ago
I really, really enjoyed this book. I did not expect to like it as much as I did. On my Nook, this was 415 pages and I enjoyed each page. The writing was really good and the story was very interesting. Each character was so interesting. There was much to admire in the book's characters but also much to depise. This would be a perfect book club book becaue after finishing reading it I can just imagine the differences in opinions that readers would have about each of the characters. Besides being a great story this book touched so many issues such as social class, slavery, the role of a woman, infidelity, etc. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel, although different from cannon latino-lit, embodies struggle, the spirit of perseverence, a question of identity, feminism, and magical realism. It is compared to Gone With The Wind... but is quite different. As in much of her work, the author is amazingly descriptive of the natural beauty an hardship of la isla. The protagonist is, much like Scarlet, meant to be both admired and dispised. The comentary on Puerto Rican slavery and other politics of the time-period is well-done. Many of the characters are interesting, but I admire her use of language more than anything. I would deffinately recomend reading this, I certianly plan on reading it in Spanish soon myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well-written, exciting page-turner. I have a love/hate relationship with almost every character. Santiago does a great job demostrating the good and evil within each of the characters, allowing you to admire them for certain attributes and despise them for others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intersting story which brings you through the development of the lovely isla del encanto
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I chose this book based on reviews I saw here as well as a recent magazine book review. I very much enjoyed learning about the culture and history of Puerto Rico as well as well as following the trials, tragedies and triumphs of a young girl into her womanhood, making unpopular choices and following her dream. I look forward to reading other books, especially a sequel to this book, by this author.
Millie Lopez More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. As a Puerto Rican women it made me embrace more my culture and my ancestry. A must read for every Puertorican daughter. It made me want to know more about my family tree. Called my 90 year old grandmother, and talked about her life experiences , while growing up the island of Puerto Rico. This was priceless ! Wish there were more book choices available in the Nook from Esmeralda Santiago and Isabel Allende.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Highly recommended.
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