Dominicana
Dominicana

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Annotation: In this vivid portrait of the immigrant experience set in the 1960s, Ana must choose between her heart and her duty to family after she leaves her native Dominican Republic for what she hopes is a better life as a new bride in New York City.
Catalog Number: #209846
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 322 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-20593-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7603-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-20593-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7603-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019012554
Dimensions: 24 cm
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Ana Canción is 15 when her parents marry her off to 32-year-old Juan Ruiz as part of a business arrangement, and she leaves her family farm in the Dominican Republic to move to New York City.In this coming-to-America story, the harsh realities of immigration are laid bare, but equally clear are the resilience and resourcefulness of the people who choose to make a new life far from home. It's the early 1960s, and there is tumult in the U.S. and abroad—the Vietnam War is raging, and the D.R. plunges into chaos when dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated. Author Cruz (Let It Rain Coffee, 2006, etc.) based the book on her own mother's experiences, and Ana's narration is wry and absorbing. Once Ana has arrived at her new apartment in Washington Heights, Juan proves himself to be a lousy husband, at best demanding and at worst abusive. At first, Ana's days are a bleak litany of chores and unwanted sex. But slowly, her life in New York begins to broaden, especially when Juan travels back to the D.R. on an extended business trip. By now, Ana is pregnant, but with Juan away, she is free to take English classes from the nuns across the street and scheme up ways to earn her own money, selling fried pastelitos with the help of her brother-in-law, César. César is younger than Juan, more fun than his brother, and kinder, too. César reminds Ana that joy exists—and that it can be hers—as when he surprises her with her first hot dog at Coney Island. Ultimately, though, Ana is her own strength and salvation. As she tells her ill-fated brother, Yohnny, before she leaves for New York, "I don't need anyone to save me."A moving, sad, and sometimes disarmingly funny take on migration and the forces that propel us into the world.
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Cruz masterfully provides insight into the 1960s Dominican immigration to the U.S. through the experiences of her 15-year-old protagonist, Ana Canción. The vivid descriptions of the pressures Ana endures at home set the context for her expedient marriage to the much older Juan Ruiz, who will enable her family to move to New York City. Cruz is consistently strong in her characterization and treats everyone from the desperately ambitious Mama to the conflicted Juan with empathy, while Ana is her crowning achievement as she emerges from girlhood to become a resolute and focused young woman. Sensual and fearful of sin, Ana struggles to choose between obligation and love, her husband and his younger brother. This is not an immigrant tale about magically achieving the American dream or any other successes; instead it captures the gritty reality of starting out in a new land with no real footholds. In Ana's fierce dreams for her child, and Juan's tender hopes for the next generation, Cruz creates an unforgettable portrayal of immigrant motivation. Cruz's ability to create mood and atmosphere with her distinctive writing style make her a strong voice in Dominican American literature.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (9/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 9.0
Interest Level: 9+

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK "Through a novel with so much depth, beauty, and grace, we, like Ana, are forever changed." --Jacqueline Woodson, Vanity Fair "Gorgeous writing, gorgeous story." --Sandra Cisneros Named a Most Anticipated Book by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, O Magazine, Time, Seattle Times, The Baltimore Sun, Real Simple, Nylon, Instyle, BuzzFeed, Lit Hub, The Millions, Bustle, and more Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn't matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year's Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan's free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay. As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family's assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family. In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.


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