By Angie Cruz
This novel takes place in the 1970’s, in both the Dominican Republic and New York City. Ana Cancion is just fifteen years-old and living in the countryside of the Dominican Republic when her parents announce she is to be married. She is to marry Juan Ruiz and move with him to America. The plan is that Juan will then arrange for the rest of her family to come.
What did it make me think about?
I just got lost in this story. I kept thinking “I hope Angie Cruz writes another book soon!”.
Should I read it?
YES! This was one of my favorite books I have read this year (which I attribute in part to Ana being one of my favorite characters this year). Something about the writing reminded me of Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement. Another good choice. I highly recommend both of these books!
“I tear open Teresa’s letter, looking for answers. No use. She has been caught by the white-shirts who carry the bible. Just when I thought God had forgotten me, she writes, Miss Ashley from Texas invited us to eat with her family, to teach us how they prosper with the Lord by their side. In great and frustrating detail, Teresa describes the chocolate-chip cookies served for dessert. And the magical blue boxes of elbows they gave her and she can feed herself and El Guardia for a week! How this means she doesn’t have to grate yucca and soak beans anymore, giving her more time to spread the Lord’s name. I have seen those blue boxes in the supermarket beside the cans of Chef Boyardee. Poor, poor Teresa, seduced by macaroni and cheese by those Yankees in short-sleeved white shirts and dark pants who go from house to house, always in a pack, who hand food to the street children and lure them into their houses to sit around the living room and listen to how much God loves them. I have seen the white-shirts in New York too, by the subway exit. Teresa has always seemed so strong. It doesn’t make sense. As a soon-to-be-mother, even I know God’s happier when his children keep a good distance, and are not always hanging over him like spoiled children, always asking him for things.”