Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico" by Sarah McCoy

Summary: Verdita details her "coming of age" in Puerto Rico. She deals with her burgeoning awareness of sexuality, her ambivalence about her parents, and her desire to look and be American.

Musings: This book was presented (in the inside flap, certainly not the best source of information) as following in the tradition of The House on Mango Street and Annie John. Although McCoy attempts to capture the bildungsroman and lyrical nature of more famous "island" literature, her slim book just doesn't capture the spirit or life of her predecessors.

Verdita goes through the surprises and shock of sexual growth (walking in on her parents having sex, developing pubic hair) in a way that feels done and trite. Her irrational anger at her mother and attachment to her father during this time felt confusing rather than indicative of puberty.

The parents are confusing figures, and it's uncertain what their motivations or feelings really are.

Verdita's beginning awareness of her sexuality and her desire to be "Americanized" are only half-explored, and the hopefulness with which the novels ends (with Verdita traveling to America for the first time) didn't feel in sync with the rest of the novel.

The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico is a quick read, but it offers nothing new to the genre.

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