ALA Notable Book. Yolanda Garcia has managed to put herself at the center of many lives. Each part of this novel is told from the viewpoint of one of those first tangled in her web and now frozen in the spotlight her literary fame has generated. While everybody from her three sisters to her third husband attempts to sort out Yo's character, motivations, and behavior, Yo herself never speaks on her own behalf, even though, in her native Spanish, her nickname means "I." "A literary dance . . .lively and engaging."--Los Angeles Times Book Review. A QUALITY PAPERBACK BOOK CLUB SELECTION.
Each chapter looked at Yolanda from a different character's point of view so you saw her through many different eyes and at different times of her life. I didn't like it nearly as much as How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents which has the same characters, but it was an enjoyable read.read more
I first met Alvarez through In the Time of the Butterflies, and this one does not disappoint at all. It is the story of Yo, (short for Yolanda), one of the four Garcia sisters. It is the story of life in the Dominican Republic, being immigrants in the United States, through Yo's three marriages, fights with her sisters and mother, her extended family in the DR, through the often difficult development of her writing, through superstitions, through hopes, fears, and loves won, lost, and misunderstood. And it is told through multiple images of Yo: through her sisters, her lovers, the daughter of her maid, the peasants and poor people of the DR, her father, her homosexual academic mentor, even through a stalker who attacks her and her sister. Each image is a little chapter. A little uneven in places, but Alvarez writes so well that characters leap off the page, fully formed. She is a joy to read. And in the end, in the chapter from her father, a final, painful secret revealed of how Yo, as a precocious child that loved to make up and tell stories, was beaten by her father and told never to do so again, because of the atavistic fear engendered by a childish story, told to a military neighbour, that could have led to the disappearance and murder of the entire family by the secret police. It brings home very well that raw, unreasoned fear that pervades police states and makes parents even fear the innocence of children.read more
This is a collection of short stories about Yolanda Garcia (we first met her in How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents) told from the perspectives of various peoople in her life. The stories are often humourous with a tinge of sadness, revealing Yo's journey from precocious child, to a rebellious teen, to a somewhat confused and unfocused adult. We come to see that she is a challenging daughter, a loving a sister, a courageous and loyal friend and lover, an idealistic activist, and ultimately, an artist. The book still brings tears to my eyes, even after double-digit readings.read more
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