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Come together, fall apart : a novella and stories
Cristina Henriquez
Adult Fiction HENRIQU

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The characters in this eloquent, muted debut collection of eight stories plus the title novella are eager to enjoy life, though thwarted by the inimical conditions of a Panama in transition after the collapse of Noriega's rule. The young couple in the first story, "Yanina," embody a sweetly turbulent and conflicted relationship: the title character, wounded by the marital infidelity of her father and later of her godfather, asks her well-meaning but still uncertain boyfriend, Ren?, to marry her 45 times. "Ashes," which first appeared in The New Yorker, tracks the unraveling effects of a mother's death on her daughter, Mireya, already adrift in troubled relationships and endangered by her arduous job as a meat cutter. Characters reel from family rupture and dysfunction: the teenaged Maria in "Mercury," for example, is torn between her home in New Jersey, where her parents are divorcing, and Panama City, where she is sent to visit aging grandparents she wants desperately to impress with her Spanish. The eponymous final novella, set in late 1989 on the eve of the American invasion of Panama, affectingly reveals a country "teetering on the edge of a cliff" through the fate of a family forced to leave their ancestral Panama City home. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Henriquez offers a tender collection of short stories and a novella set in Panama around the time of the military leader Noriega's fall. The writing is pleasantly engaging but far from trite; throughout, the characters confront significant life issues like marriage, coming of age, independence, divorce, job tedium, drug addiction, and incest while struggling with political upheaval, generational conflict, and personal ambitions and desires. Through vividly evoked landscapes, neighborhoods, and families, Henriquez reveals the consequences of a mother's death ("Ashes"), a father's infidelity ("Come Together, Fall Apart"), or a couple's divorce ("Mercury"). The poignancy of many of these stories is intense, especially that of the title novella. Recommended for all collections.-Sofia A. Tangalos, SUNY at Buffalo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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