Sunday, October 4, 2009

"How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" by Julia Alvarez

Summary: Following the Garcias' "four girls" and their parents over the course of years, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents documents the family's life in the Dominican Republic and the girls' transition to adolescence and adulthood in the United States.

Musings: The novel follows multiple narrators and jumps between events and time periods. Because of this, Alvarez develops no linear chronology to the family's lives. Instead, small snapshots of places, ages, and stages are presented.

I liked the subject of this book, particularly the parts that addressed the family relationships. When the stories became intensely personal, following only one adult Garcia daughter and her troubles, I was a little less interested. I also enjoyed the stories that followed the girls as children. Those stories, however, didn't particularly gel with the adult portraits of the daughters. The adult daughters seemed highly screwed up, and although we got glimpses of troubles here and there, I wasn't quite sure what created such dysfunctional siblings.

I find myself increasingly interested in hearing from non-American voices, and I do think Alvarez was a good choice.

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