A girl’s got to read, this all Clutchettes know. So, to help navigate the ever-expanding world of books, Uptown Literati is here to provide a weekly reading list. We’re a fresh, book blog for cool girls and great reads (check us out on our site [uptownliterati.com] ) and we’ll be dishing on what you need to be reading now: classic tomes, sassy fiction, juicy tell-alls and every type of paperback in between. Happy reading!

Who: Acclaimed Author Julia Alvarez

What: A patchwork quilt-like novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents tells the story of the Garcia family and the four daughters—Yolanda, Sandra, Carla, and Sophia—who essentially come of age in New York City during the 1960s. When the wealthy Garcia family finds itself seeking exile from the Dominican Republic to the Bronx, NY, the sudden and jarring transition in lifestyle causes the stress to reverberate through the family in a number of ways. The excitement and simultaneous raw edge of New York during the 60s tugs at the four girls’ curiosities as they explore their sensual natures, passions, relationships, careers, and all that this new life in America entices with. But along with the urge to explore new freedoms is the uncomfortable hesitation that is felt with straddling two opposite cultures, and trying to accommodate both.

Why: Alvarez is as much a star herself as the characters in her novel. When How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents was released in 1991, it was joining a burgeoning class of multi-cultural authors who were writing about their own culture’s moors, passions, troubles, and tongue with an authenticity that had not been seen as extensively in literature, especially Latin American culture, with a few exceptions. In prose as rich and fluid as the Dominican dialogue that is scattered throughout the novel, Alvarez helps both the reader and the Garcia family navigate through a culture they may have been unfamiliar with at the beginning, but upon finishing feel as though they’ve experienced the same complexities and triumphs with each respective character.

Rating: 4 stars

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