[Read] ➼ How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents ➹ Julia Alvarez – Bandrider.co.uk

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents summary How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents , series How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents , book How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents , pdf How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents , How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents a238f734dd Uprooted From Their Family Home In The Dominican Republic, The Four Garcia Sisters Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, And Sofia Arrive In New York City In To Find A Life Far Different From The Genteel Existence Of Maids, Manicures, And Extended Family They Left Behind What They Have Lost And What They Find Is Revealed In The Fifteen Interconnected Stories That Make Up This Exquisite Novel From One Of The Premier Novelists Of Our Time


10 thoughts on “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

  1. says:

    How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent is Julia Alvarez fictionalized account of her childhood when she moved with her family from the Dominican Republic to New York following the 1960 Trujillo revolution Her story is told in alternating chapters through the eyes of the four Garcia sisters Carla, Sandi, Yolanda, and Sofia Fifi and follows them in reverse chronological order from adulthood to early childhood Alvarez displays the Garcia de la Torre clan s love for the island on their path to becoming Americans I read this as a reread for a comfort read for myself as Alvarez is one of my favorite authors, and I rate the Garcia s story 4.5 stars I fell in love with Julia Alvarez writing when I was in high school and college studying Latin American culture Alvarez along with Allende and Cristina Garcia helped forge my love for Latin America that has shaped my entire life Her writing is a mix of true stories, humor, and the angst the immigrant experience that has me reaching for her books every few years The Garcia Girls is a fictionalized autobiography with Yolanda, the third daughter, being Alvarez persona Like Alvarez, Yolanda is a writer who begged for her own typewriter, studied literature in boarding school and college, and eventually became a literature professor at a myriad of colleges Yet, like her true counterpart, Yolanda still yearns for the island A first generation immigrant, she straddles two countries This is the life that the sisters faced in New York while also dealing with parents who still clung to old world ideals Alvarez paints a picture of a coming of age that was stressful for the girls as they had the added element of parents not used to the new culture which they were living in This leads to memorable dialogues among the characters, especially the two parents One of my favorite sections of the narrative is when an adult Yolanda returns to the Dominican Republic and asks her aunts where she can find guavas Her aunts and cousins take guavas and other tropical fruits for granted living on an island Yet, it is these little things that the Garcias miss the most having grown up in New York Guavas, native flora and fauna, a compound of extended family Yolanda eventually goes on an adventure to procure guavas, showing her independent American spirit All the girls attend boarding school to learn to be Americans, and wow their cousins with the new found culture that they obtain Yet this dual culture comes at a price when the girls come to visit the Dominican Republic, they always are excited to return to the States Other than poetry anthologies, this was Alvarez first full length novel It is evident as her writing is not as polished as with some of her later writing I have read her later works as well and her voice is better established in her later writings Once she gained tenure in college her books take on a relaxed tone and in two of her later nonfiction accounts I found myself laughing throughout the text Yet, the Garcia Girls is what put Alvarez on the Latin American writing stage It is a poignant work that addresses the Latin American immigrant experience, that I highly recommend to all.


  2. says:

    I was so intrigued by the title that I kept it on my to read list for years, but when I finally settled down to read it, I didn t fall immediately in love I felt the voices of the various sisters were too similar, and all of them seemed quite shallow However, it is not without its merits The book moves backwards in time, and the younger the girls got, the interested I became in their characters I especially liked reading about their lives before they moved to the States My favorite part was the description of their family as a shared community We lived in each other s houses, staying for meals at whatever table we were closest to when dinner was put out, heading home only to take our baths and go to bed Favorite Quotes about childhood the wonder of the world seizing me with such fury at times that I had to touch forbidden china cups or throttle a little cousin or pet a dog s head so strenuously that he looked as if he were coming out of the birth canal The Catholic sisters at Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows Convent School were teaching me to sort the world like laundry into what was wrong and right three black cars idling in the driveway like great, nervous, snorting horses.


  3. says:

    I enjoyed this quite a lot, but I really think it should have been marketed as a book of short stories Instead it s a book of short stories that is called a novel, yet has none of the cohesion or overarching plot required of a novel, though the stories are all about the same four women It s also very obvious that many of these stories were originally published separately, as there s a lot of repeated background info, introducing characters as if we ve never met them before when it s the fifth time they ve appeared, etc There are also a handful of stories in first person, when the majority are third person, and that kind of makes it feel patched together, too There was also one very bizarre story where it was first person, except all the girls were named in third person So even though the narrator was saying I and we and us in reference to the four sisters, it sounded like there was a mysterious fifth sister doing the narration because she attributed actions and dialogue to all four in third person Ihave never seen a story written like that before and hope never to do so again It was disconcerting and a very strange choice return return Anyway, I really did enjoy the individual stories quite a lot, and found the book hard to put down I just am kind of annoyed with it for saying it s a novel when it s not, as that made me keep expecting things that it never delivered.


  4. says:

    I had high hopes for How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez These hopes continued to grow after reading the two short stories The Kiss and The Rudy Elmenhurst Story These were both two very well written, expressive, and generally entertaining stories that did well in holding the reader s attention and delivered strong, powerful endings However, as I read on I could not get myself to distinguish between the four Garcia girls Carla, Sophia, Sandra, and Yolanda Although some stories were centered on certain characters, I still found that all of the girls just blended together into one After reading most of the book I was still unable to tell one girl from the others.Also, I thought that the sequence of the stories was very hard to follow The combination of switching between characters and settings makes it hard for the reader to see any link between most of the stories For example, the story Trespass, a tail of Carla s run in with a pedophile, is directly followed by Snow, a two page story of Yolanda performing the duck and cover drill in school This leaves the reader with no possible connections between stories When a man with no pants telling Carla to C moninere is followed by radioactivity causing the bones in our arms to go soft with no transition between the two, the reader loses the fact that the stories are supposed to be connected The stories just don t mix well.Individually, there are stories that have great merit as I stated earlier But I feel that as a whole, the book does not do the proper job of personifying every character of the story well enough to satisfy the reader, and it needs to organize the stories or creating some sort of transition between them.


  5. says:

    Julia Alvarez wrote one of my favorite essays in Why I m Still Married so I was really excited when I found a copy of this book for 0.50 at tha library book sale I read it on my way to Tucson last week, so I already latin food and culture on my mind I really liked the way this book moved backwards in time, working its way from Yolanda s trip back to the Dominican Republic in the 1990 s to her childhood on the island in the 1960 s For the most part, I enjoyed the book, but I thought it lacked detail and development for a few of the characters I didn t understand why Sandi developed an eating disorder later in life, why most of the girls had bad marriages or why Yolanda had a nervous breakdown I would have preferred the book to focus solely on Yolanda and be told entirely from her perspective That would have made the lack of detail a little acceptable For the most part, the voices of the four girls were very similar, making it difficult to fall in love with or hate any one of them I was neither attached nor angry, which makes for a pretty mediocre read Still, I would like to read of Alvarez s work and have added In the Time of Butterflies to my to read list Of course as soon as I finished I had to pull out my old journal from 1999 and re read my entries from the time I spent in the Dominican Presidente, beans and rice, the little girl who loved my barettes, Mariella and her gorgeous family, and creepy old men who wanted to dance the merengue with us What memories


  6. says:

    The Garc a family flees the Dominican Republic for the United States amid political unrest The four sisters Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia find 1960s New York City very different from the upper middle class life they knew back home Absent their maids and extended family, the Garc a girls do their best to assimilate into the mainstream they iron their hair, forget their Spanish, and meet and date boys without chaperones This is a wonderfully entertaining look at the immigrant experience and at the strong family ties that see these sisters and their parents through a tumultuous adolescence and young adulthood The novel is told in alternating perspectives, focusing on a different sister in each chapter, and also moving back in time, from 1989 to 1956 When exploring their childhood in the DR, Alvarez allows the innocence of youth to be apparent Children may sense that something isn t quite right, but they typically don t know the realities facing their parents The family s sudden departure for the United States is at first a great adventure, but the reality of reduced circumstances and cramped city apartments instead of a large family compound with gardens and servants quickly makes the girls homesick Once assured that there is no going back, they struggle to fit in with their peers at school They don t want to stick out due to dress, language, food, or customs With their assimilation, however, comes a greater clash between the girls and their parents old world values The use of multiple narrators and non linear time line, however, made for an uneven reading experience I would be invested in one sister s story, and then jerked to a different time and place and narrator with little or no warning Some members of my F2F book club found this so distracting that they lowered their ratings significantly But for me the confusion is indicative of the immigrant experience Each immigrant ultimately has to choose the extent to which she will adopt the customs, foods, dress of her new environment, and how much of her native customs, foods, dress to keep and share with her new neighbors The Garc a girls draw comfort from their deep roots in the Dominican Republic while bravely and enthusiastically facing and embracing their future as Americans.


  7. says:

    It was an entertaining, funny read about a family of six that escapes the Dominican Republic for a life in the United States in New York The four girls, mother and father, left not by choice but because the dictator Trujillo was spying and trying to catch Carlos, who was a doctor and the father, in a compromising act against the government to jail him They were also considered wealthy in the DR yet employment for Carlos was difficult in the US at first.All the stories were good but they were not cohesive Every story was a new memory for one of the new girls sometimes talking in the present and then all of a sudden you were reading it in the past Sometimes the author went from speaking in third person to first person It would have been better, for me, to have made this into short stories with each girls perspective of their lives in the DR and after in the US I m not familiar with life or people in the Dominican Republic but it seems to have the same feel as living like any other Latin person with their superstitions and their silly yet lovable family life.


  8. says:

    This is a beautifully written book But it s one of those works of fiction that isn t really about anything in particular Readers spend time with alternating Garcia girls in random order throughout a portion of their lives There is no plot to speak of The chapters are connected by the fact that one or Garcia girl is featured in each of them, but you could read them in any order you wanted without impacting the reading experience The chapters scenes hold your attention in standalone fashion as well as loosely connecting with the others I didn t grow attached to anyone in particular I cared about what was happening when it was happening and then the book moved on to something else How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents is a well written series of scattered moments in the lives of girls who become women who become the memory of a book you once read.


  9. says:

    Maybe 3.5 stars It was told in reverse chronological order, by a few different viewpoints, which got a bit confusing Interesting novel about four sisters who grew up in the Dominican Republic and New York, and how their lives change because of that.


  10. says:

    First off, the reverse chronological thing just threw me I had a hard time understanding who was crazy when and when they were crazy, if it was really crazy or just stream of consciousness writing And as with a lot of minority authors, I don t see why they have to focus on only negative experiences I m sure the Garcia girls had a lot of good experiences which shaped them, but Alvarez chose only to focus on the negative There was so much sexual content in this book, I d almost feel uncomfortable classifying it as a young adult novel which is what our library classifies it as The book is set in the 60 s and 70 s, so there was rampant sex and drug use throughout the book Every other story was about someone s first time having sex or someone being molested it got very old after a while.One thing I did appreciate was how distinct each of the girls voices were Even without being told who was talking, I probably could have picked out which daughter was telling which story Even Chucha and Laura were distinct from all the rest And Alvarez did a wonderful job of evolving the girls voices as they grew older There was no doubt when a daughter was 10 as compared to when she was 25 I don t think I would recommend this book to anyone but it wasn t a horrible read.


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