Friday, June 11, 2010

Review: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents is a novel regarding four sisters that moved to the states as children from the Dominican Republic. The book is broken up into fifteen stories moving in reverse, from the time when Yolanda, the eldest sister visits her relatives in the Dominican Republic as an adult, to when they were all children living amongst their relatives under the Trujillo reign.

The stories themselves our interesting and the writing is good, but I felt that the book lacked cohesiveness or a driving force. Many things are alluded to, such as a number of divorces of the Garcia sisters, an eating disorder, etc., but there are no explanations or connecting threads that explain any of these events. The sisters did not seem to differentiate much from each other, and the whole book rather bled together as a mass of enjoyable snapshots in time, but without reason or distinguishing moments. The only real theme throughout the book was the struggle between identify as a Dominican Republican and an American, but not even this was represented well throughout. I feel each of the stories would make an excellent short story on its own, but that they did not necessarily belong together in one work.

Did I enjoy reading this book? Yes, I did, but I do not think I would recommend it to a friend.

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