How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

Front Cover
Bloomsbury, 2004 - Bronx (New York, N.Y.) - 320 pages
414 Reviews
Uprooted from their family home in the Dominican Republic, the four Garcia sisters - Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia - arrive in New York City in 1960 to find a life far different from the genteel existence of maids, manicures, and extended family they left behind. What they have lost - and what they find - is revealed in the fifteen interconnected stories that make up this exquisite novel from one of the premier novelists of our time.

Just as it is a feature of the immigrant experience to always look back, the novel begins with thirty-nine-year-old Yolanda's return to the island and moves magically backward in time to the final days before the exile that is to transform the sisters' lives. Along the way we witness their headlong plunge into the American mainstream. Although the girls try to distance themselves from their island life by ironing their hair, forgetting their Spanish, and meeting boys unchaperoned, they remain forever caught between the old world and the new. With bright humor and rare insight, Julia Alvarez vividly evokes the tensions and joys of belonging to two distinct cultures in a novel that is utterly authentic and full of irrepressible spirit.

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5 stars
61
4 stars
124
3 stars
135
2 stars
72
1 star
22

Overall, this was a good yarn. - Goodreads
... and the ending to this book is abrupt and strange. - Goodreads
Alvarez has a gift for prose and character development. - Goodreads
Not my favourite read, but definitely educational. - Goodreads
I love Julia Alvarez's prose. - Goodreads
Her writing is fantastic and beautiful. - Goodreads

Review: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

User Review  - Clancy Haase - Goodreads

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents was an interesting read for me because it wasn't like the typical books I have read in the past. However, it wasn't necessarily my favorite book for various ... Read full review

Review: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

User Review  - CDMA - Goodreads

FINAL RATING: 3.5/5 I really liked how Alvarez played with the time sequence of the entire novel. She started with Yoyo - or Yolanda - as an adult. Then she proceeded to continue the story, with the ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Julia Alvarez grew up in the Dominican Republic and emigrated to the United States in 1960. How The García Girls Lost Their Accents received the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, was listed by Américas magazine as 1993's #1 bestseller in Latin America, and was named by both the ALA and the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 1991. Her second novel, In The Time Of The Butterflies, was nominated for the 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other works include !Yo!, Something To Declare and In The Name Of Salomé. She is also the author of children's and young adult books and poetry collections. She lives in Vermont and in the Dominican Republic, where she and her husband have a sustainable coffee farm and literacy centre.

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