Dominicana: Book summary and reviews of Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Dominicana

by Angie Cruz

Dominicana by Angie Cruz X
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2019
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did.

But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn't matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year's Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan's free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.

As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family's assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.

In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Cruz's winning novel will linger in the reader's mind long after the close of the story." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A moving, sad, and sometimes disarmingly funny take on migration and the forces that propel us into the world." - Kirkus Reviews

"A tale from that island called girlhood. Cruz describes this shipwrecked age with giddy accuracy. A season of hope, vulnerability, and disaster. Especially for a girl of color. Gorgeous writing, gorgeous story." - Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

"Dominicana is a book that grabs you, that moves both quickly and deeply, as it explores how our very personal desires and destinies are shaped by forces of culture, politics, economics, language, migration. The kind of book I am always longing to read: a sexy book that is also meaningful. I couldn't put it down." - Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

"This gorgeous new novel by Angie Cruz holds an unflinching gaze on one young immigrant woman's life - its hardships, its hopes, and its richly depicted loves. Ana's story is filled with music and reverence for survival, and for joy. An essential read for our times." - Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban

"Dominicana is beautiful, engaging, and cuts right to the heart of what it is to be a dutiful young female from a poor country who is bright in every sense of the word, full of love and hope." - Mary Gaitskill, author of The Mare and Veronica

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Author Information

Angie Cruz

Angie Cruz is the author of the novels Soledad and Let It Rain Coffee, a finalist in 2007 for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She has published work in the New York Times, VQR, Gulf Coast Literary Journal, and other publications, and has received fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. She is founder and editor in chief of Aster(ix), a literary and arts journal, and is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

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