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After leaving the college she'd attended to escape her religiously conservative parents, Iliana, a first-generation Dominican-American woman, returns home to Brooklyn to find that her family is falling apart: one sister is careening toward mental collapse, another sister is living in a decrepit building with her abusive husband and three children, and a third sister has simply disappeared. In this dislocating urban environment Iliana reluctantly confronts the anger and desperation that seem to seep through every crack of her family's small house, and experiences all the contradictions, superstitions, joys, and pains that come from a life caught between two cultures. In this magnificent debut novel, filled with graceful prose and searing detail, Loida Maritza Pérez offers a penetrating portrait of the American immigrant experience as she explores the true meanings of identity, family--and home.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.75(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It was a hard feeling -- to have to come down from a high after reading the first few lines in this book. Perez sets the reader up for an incredible trip, but clumsy prose, and arbitrary, verbose flashbacks take the story off track. We never get a clear sense of who Iliana is, why she hears a disembodied voice, and what her homecoming efforts really yielded. The true protagonist in this book is Aurelia, and her reunion with her indigenous spirituality is absorbing. If the writing had also developed Iliana, who seems to share the same gifts as her mother, then she would have earned her keep as a major character. The sister Beatriz is mentioned briefly, but forgotten in the swirls of Marina's madness and Rebecca's helpless self-hatred, which are only explained through melodramatic flashbacks. Actually, I think Perez will offer the literary world many riveting pieces down the road, because her material is compelling -- but first she has to get control over the chosen subject matter.
Loida Maritza Perez has written a striking first novel about the personal struggles within a large immigrant family trying to survive in New York City. The characters have life. They are not mere cardboard figures.They are complex and conflicted people, capable of contridictory actions and emotions.I was swept away into their grim world. Although the story has some lose ends and some other faults, I found it an absorbing read. I was moved by the love, regret, anger, hate, and forgiveness explored by this author--emotions that can be found in every family, not only in this fictional one. A touching and memorable book.