I really loved this story! This is my first Angie Cruz novel and she writes with so much feeling and depth. Her unique style of not writing with dialogue as normal dialogue was really cool. I found it so much easier to read and understand since I wasn’t wondering who said what and when. It flowed really well.
The story follows a 15 year old Ana who is married off to a 30-something year old man, Juan, in order to move to America and make a better life for herself and subsequently her family. The trials that she must go through (leaving behind the boy she thinks she truly loves, having her virginity forcefully taken away in the coldest of ways, becoming impregnated by a man she doesn’t love while trying to learn a new culture, environment and role as a wife). Ana has it hard. She doesn’t know how to speak up to her domineering husband. Her mother gives her advice to stand up, demand things of him but she cannot do it. Her fear is palpable as Juan as abuses her on various levels. Ana begins to get stronger when Juan is called back to Dominican Republic to check on his land and financials. This takes two months. During that time, Ana goes to class, learns her way around the city and befriends Juan’s younger brother Cesar. Cesar is supposed to be her caretaker but he is a free spirit that allows (and invites) Ana out into the world. Soon, things become complicated for Ana. She begins to learn who she is, what she wants and feels her strength rising. I loved this story and Ana will steal your heart while her circumstances will undoubtedly break it. Readers will enjoy the nod to historical events that occurred in New York. Highly recommended for readers who would enjoy an immigrant story with the backdrop of culture, New York, and bits of history.
Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended
*Special thanks to Flatiron Books for the review copy. #flatironbooks @flatironbooks @flatiron_books