Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Review: How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

Book: How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

Edition: Paperback

Rating: 2 stars


This is one of those books where the writing is great (it was very expressive) but the story was boring. Told in reverse are 15 stories that take place from 1989 to 1956 that follows the Garcia family who had to flee the Dominican Republic to New York City for political reasons. I was disappointed with this book because with each story you never truly got to know these characters and it never felt like the stories were even connected. There was no cohesion making the stories appear to be abrupt and fragmented. I found the book to drag on a bit with the stories having no clear purpose as to why they were written.

Although there were four daughters (Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia) neither of them had a distinct personality. There was no way of telling each of the sisters apart and even though the author included the name of the sister at the top of the page of certain stories, it really doesn't make a difference because it was like one character with four names. The sisters were unfortunately forgettable and interchangeable with their voices blending into one.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents wasn't a complete bore there were some interesting moments and a few relatively good stories I enjoyed reading. However, there wasn't enough of it to make this a compelling read. I was also disappointed by the amount of colorism tossed around at the Garcia family's staff in the stories that were set when the family was still living in the Dominican Republic.

A bit of a struggle to get through because it was boring, I do wish it had been a better read. Not sure if this is a book I would give a second read but for now it's going back on the shelf. Perhaps, I will donate it, maybe there is someone out there who will enjoy reading this.

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