Read Harder: Immigration



Title: How the Garcia girls lost their accents

Author: Julia Alvarez

Genre: Historical

No. of pages: 291

Rating: 3/5



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This weeks read harder challenge was to read a book telling the story of immigration.

I think the topic of immigration is very relevant because we are always seeing immigrants arrive into new cities and sometimes I think we forget we all immigrated ourselves. Maybe hundreds of years ago but we are all immigrants, searching for a new land.

In my case, my dad emigrated from India as did my mum's parents. To come to a new strange land with different customs which you may have to follow in some cases is daunting. It's like when you leave the comfort of your own home and venture out into the big wide world, exciting but scary.

This is exactly what this book is about. It tells the story of the Garcia girls, of which there are 4, and their move from the Dominican Republic to New York City in 1960. The story is told from the point of view of all four girls but also their parents.

What I really liked about this book was that it was reverse chronological. The girls went from being married in a foreign land to back to when they were pre-teens playing in the gardens of their Dominican home.

The story is told in a memoir form with each of the girls recounting an episode that meant a lot to them. It's sort of a trip down a fictitious memory lane which was a unique concept. In my opinion, this is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because of its a unique style and it makes the book an easy read, but in the same breath bad because you don't feel committed to the book because there is no 'story' as such. 

It's one of these easy beaches reads that talks about something important. But it won't hook you or grab you because there is nothing to grab you per se.

Although I only get 3 out of 5 stars because I felt it was an average read, I would recommend the book because the writing was brilliant. It's just a super chilled out book which is perfect for summer.

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