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Dominicana by Angie Cruz Book review


Dominicana by Angie Cruz Book review

Dominicana by Angie Cruz Book review

Dominicana by Angie Cruz. This is a new release. I think it comes out in like September 3rd or like early September. But it was actually released a little bit early through book of the month. 

I usually am not great about reading my book of the month books right away all the time. But it was kind of just like sitting there and I had like a free day and I was like, 

I'm just gonna grab this one because it's on the top of my multiple piles of unread books. And I was immediately hooked. So in this story you are following this girl named Ana CanciĆ³n and it starts off while she is 15 years old and living in the Dominican Republic. 

And it takes place in like the 1960s. So yeah, she's about 15 years old and the story starts off with her talking about how basically she knows that her parents are going to force her to marry this specific man who is significantly older. 

I think he's like in his 30s. And it's mainly because like it'll be a good thing for the family. His family is like relatively wealthy, they own like a couple of different businesses in town. 

He goes back and forth to America, and so she can go to America and then potentially like bring the rest of the family over. And it also creates this deal for them because they want to be able to build things on her family's land and stuff like that. 

So it's partially a business arrangement but partially like the guy's actually attracted to her. It's kind of gross. So yeah, she's basically forced to marry this man and then move to the United States all by herself. 

And so you are following her through her life or through like a period of her life as she is forced into this marriage in order to help her family out and then like her being almost completely on her own, immigrating to the United States, barely speaking English, barely able to get by, things like that.

If you read the like the synopsis of this book on like the front flap or anything like that, there is more information that's given away. But I think that's kind of a good enough summary for you to kind of know what you're getting yourself into with this book. 

So like I said, I really enjoyed this book a lot. It like pulled me in from the very beginning. Like I brought this book to work to read during my lunch break and I accidentally took too long of a lunch break because I was enjoying this book so much. 

Like I got so sucked into the story and the way this book is written that I literally-- legitimately like took too long of lunch break and had to like rush back to my desk. 

So I think that gives you a pretty good indication of like how I felt about this book. I'm always someone who will enjoy a story about immigrants coming to the United States. 

That's just how I've always been and how I probably always will be. And I really enjoyed this one because I think it provides a really interesting perspective. 

One of the things that it does is, because these characters are from the Dominican Republic, it also talks about some of the things that were happening in the Dominican Republic in like the 60s and 70s. 

And you get to know a little bit about like the history there and what life was like there during that time period. It paints this like very specific picture of being an immigrant in New York City during this time period, not being able to speak English, being completely dependent on someone else, things like that. 

I will say that this relationship is abusive at a times. So trigger warnings for that. But the main character Ana is a really fantastic character because she has such strength and spirit to her and she doesn't really back down. 

Not that like if you're in abusive situation and you do sort of like quote-unquote back down that there's something wrong with you. But it's nice to see a character who is willing to stand up for herself and sort of be resilient in her own way and things like that. 

Obviously she's like very, very young when she does get married and moves to the United States. So she's very naive about a lot of things, and she gets taken advantage of in different ways and put in some very precarious situations. 

And she's put in these places where she has to deal with this push and pull of like what she actually wants with her life versus like what's best for her versus what's best for her family. 

It talks a lot about the obligations that people feel, especially when they immigrate to the United States from other countries, to like support their families back home send back money.

People assume that if you're in the United States, you are doing just like great and have all the money in the world and can do all of the things. And obviously that is not the case. 

And so dealing with that sort of tension and that like half lie, half truth that you're living and things like that, missing your family back home, missing all of your experiences, the food, things like that. 

All of that is explored really, really well in here. There's also some like really complicated relationship stuff that's happening in here. It's a book where there are a lot of these characters who are faced with choices and often make like the "worst choice" quote unquote, or like the poor choice. 

But you can kind of understand their motivations and why they're making the choices that they're making, which is the thing that I always really enjoy in stories.

Yeah, I just really feel that this is a really fantastic coming-of-age story. You get to watch Ana over the course of like at least like five years, I think, and see her grow up and see her learn what she's good at and what she's not good at, and figure out her life in the United States. 

It's really wonderful when you see people like immigrate to the United States being really afraid and fearful of the life ahead of them and being really unsure of themselves, and then watching them to grow and find their place in this country and figure out what they're good at and just thrive in general. 

I'm sure there's a lot of things in here about like the Dominican culture that I didn't really pick up on just because I'm not Dominican. But there's a lot of really great stuff that I think that anyone who has people or has immigrated to the United States themselves or just immigrated in general can really, really relate to.

If there's one quibble I have with this book it's that the ending started to feel a little bit too tidy for me. There's a lot of like loose ends that get tied up in specific ways, which obviously I'm not going to get into because spoilers.

But there's a lot of loose ends that get tied up in a way that feels a little bit too neat to me. But other than that, 

I think that this book does a really great job of talking about the complicated experiences of being an immigrant in the United States, which again I'm always here for. So that is my super quick review of Dominicana by Angie Cruz. 

Also read: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris book 

Also read: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas book 

Also read: All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg 

Also read: Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester book

Also read: Force of Nature by Jane Harper book

Also read: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim book 



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