Living at Night
This debut novel from Mariana Romo-Carmona draws us into the world of Erica Garcia - a young, working class Puerto Rican lesbian searching for her place in the world. Erica's unresolved anguish over her mother's illness causes her to drop out of college and work as an aide at an institution for developmentally disabled persons, where she interacts with women whose every action and bodily function are duly monitored, but who stubbornly maintain their dignity and assert their individuality in an environment that tends to shred those qualities. Though Erica comes to realize that she may not be able to change the world, she can indeed take charge of her own life. Living at Night is a troubling view of the indignities and neglect inflicted on disabled and old people by those who are caring for them. It is, however, also a story of hope and redemption - of how one woman's compassion can make a small but essential difference in the lives of those whom society would rather forget. And how much those removed from the cares of the outside world can teach us about life and the value of human connections.
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Living at Night (Coming of Age Series)User Review - Book Verdict
Erica Garcia, a young, working-class, Puerto Rican American lesbian, struggles to balance family, friends, and lovers in 1970s Connecticut. When her mother becomes ill following a stroke, Erica drops out of college and finds work as an aid at an institution for adults with developmental disabilities. As her life careens out of control, she is also confronted with the daily chaos at the institution, where residents try to eke out some semblance of dignity in a place devoid of privacy and individuality. Romo-Carmona paints a disturbingly accurate portrait of life inside an institution at that time, but when she focuses on scenes outside Erica's job, her writing is not as strong and the plot can become painfully slow. Nevertheless, this is a decent first novel, and Romo-Carmona offers us a perspective rarely seen in fiction. Recommended for large Hispanic collections and/or gay and lesbian collections.--Editha Ann Wilberton, Kansas City P.L., Kan.
Review: Living at NightUser Review - Crystal - Goodreads
Not my favorite book ever, but a decent read. If the entire book had been written the way the last 1/4 was, my rating would be higher. Read full review