De cómo las muchachas García perdieron el acento by Julia Alvarez
With this book I am closing the chapter on the series of books touching one way or another on immigration, integration and/or discovering a new country. I know this because I am again behind two books with my notes so I know what is coming up. I guess the New Year has not changed me much in the direction of being up to date with the blog. In the meantime I am grateful for my bus-reading time although not for the series of colds I have been collecting from the public transportation.
I read this book in Spanish and maybe during this year I will write one note in Spanish. As it happens when I read in Spanish my first concern is to understand the words. It takes a little bit for me to completely be immersed in the text and forget I am reading in a foreign language.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and I followed more or less my goal of researching two unknown words per day. Since I find it quite annoying to read and translate each word I don’t understand, I made a commitment to only two words per day for as long as the lecture lasts. Some days better than others but it has paid off so far. One word that definitely helped with other books and has been discovered through this ‘complicated’ process is “inagotable” which means “inexhaustible”.
Back to the muchachas García. The plot was described in reverse chronological order. I realized this quite late in my reading and it kept me curious if it comes back to some happy ending reflecting the present. It was quite good that it didn’t, because the point was not to figure out if there was a happy ending and if all four girls were happily married. I fully embarked on the story of their experience as newcomers to the States rather than focusing on how they ended up as adults. It felt like a very original way of having my attention driven towards what the author wanted to say. I am not sure the effect would have been the same if the book was described in a regular chronological order.
As a fellow immigrant I welcomed points that felt familiar and it brought me closer to understanding the characters and their stories. The girls were depicted beautifully in both their similarities and differences.
I do have another book from Julia Alvarez and who knows, maybe that one I will write about in Spanish. In the meantime I will continue confusing people with my accent ☺