The Meaning of Consuelo: A Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Macmillan, Nov 7, 2003 - Fiction - 200 pages
19 Reviews
La nina seria, the serious child. That's how Consuelo's mother has cast her pensive, book-loving daughter, while Consuelo's younger sister Mili, is seen as vivacious--a ray of tropical sunshine. Two daughters: one dark, one light; one to offer comfort and consolation, the other to charm and delight. But something is not right in this Puerto Rican family.

Set in the 1950s, a time when American influence is diluting Puerto Rico's rich island culture, Consuelo watches her own family's downward spiral. It is Consuelo who notices as her beautiful sister Mili's vivaciousness turns into mysterious bouts of hysteria and her playful invented language shift into an incomprehensible and chilling "language of birds." Ultimately Consuelo must choose: Will she fulfill the expectations of her family--offering consolation as their tragedy unfolds? Or will she risk becoming la fulana, the outsider, like the harlequin figure of her neighbor, Mario/Maria Sereno, who flaunts his tight red pedal pushers and empty brassiere as he refuses the traditional macho role of his culture.

This affecting novel is a lively celebration of Puerto Rico as well as an archetypal story of loss, the loss each of us experiences on our journey from the island of childhood to the uncharted territory of adulthood.

  

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Review: The Meaning of Consuelo

User Review  - Kathryn - Goodreads

Slow moving coming of age story that was not very interesting. Saw little relationship between the sisters or between her and her friends. Read full review

Review: The Meaning of Consuelo

User Review  - Doodi Al - Goodreads

I am very disappointed with this book. The story line did not have much substance. It is cleverly written but that is about it. Do not expect more of the book. Read full review

Contents

Title Page
SERPIENTES and AZÚCAR
Betrayals of the Tongue
The Meaning of the Word TRAGEDIA
The Lessons of the Forest
To Console to Comfort
Heavy Rain a Downpour
SEÑORITA
The AVE MARÍA and Other Flightless Birds
ADIÓS BORINQUÉN
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Judith Ortiz Cofer is a native of Puert Rico. She is a poet, essayist, and novelist whose books include The Latin Deli and The Line of the Sun, which the Los Angeles Times called "magical." She is the Franklin Professor of English and Creative Writing at The University of Georgia.

Bibliographic information