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How the Garcia girls lost their accents
Julia Alvarez
Adult Fiction ALVAREZ

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Alvarez's novel inches backward in time, unfolding as 15 separate but tightly linked tales of the four Garcia girls, daughters in a wealthy Dominican family who fled to the U.S. with their parents to escape the island's dictator. One central voice reads third-person narratives about the girls' experiences, acting as an axis that spools off the girls' individual voices in first-person chapters. Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia take turns describing their trials both with their Old World parents' strict ideas of proper behavior and their New World neighbors' resistance to the presence of immigrants. While the narrators (Blanca Camacho, Anne Henk, Annie Kosuch, Melanie Martinez and Noemi de la Puente) are never distinct enough for listeners to affix specific voices to characters, the book's title is illustrated perfectly by their flawless, accent-free English that switches smoothly to Spanish trills and rhythms when necessary, giving the reading both flair and authenticity. The audiobook enriches Alvarez's silvery prose and already delightful stories, making them dance even more gracefully. (Reviews, Apr. 5, 1991). (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

This rollicking, highly original first novel tells the story (in reverse chronological order) of four sisters and their family, as they become Americanized after fleeing the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. A family of privilege in the police state they leave, the Garcias experience understandable readjustment problems in the United States, particularly old world patriarch Papi. The sisters fare better but grow up conscious, like all immigrants, of living in two worlds. There is no straightforward plot; rather, vignettes (often exquisite short stories in their own right) featuring one or more of the sisters--Carle, Sandi, Yolanda, and Fifi--at various stages of growing up are strung together in a smooth, readable story. Alvarez is a gifted, evocative storyteller of promise.-- Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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