❰Reading❯ ➾ Caramelo Author Sandra Cisneros – Golanvideoagency.info

Caramelo Every Year, Ceyala Lala Reyes Family Aunts, Uncles, Mothers, Fathers, And Lala S Six Older Brothers Packs Up Three Cars And, In A Wild Ride, Drive From Chicago To The Little Grandfather And Awful Grandmother S House In Mexico City For The Summer Struggling To Find A Voice Above The Boom Of Her Brothers And To Understand Her Place On This Side Of The Border And That, Lala Is A Shrewd Observer Of Family Life But When She Starts Telling The Awful Grandmother S Life Story, Seeking Clues To How She Got To Be So Awful, Grandmother Accuses Lala Of Exaggerating Soon, A Multigenerational Family Narrative Turns Into A Whirlwind Exploration Of Storytelling, Lies, And Life Like The Cherished Rebozo, Or Shawl, That Has Been Passed Down Through Generations Of Reyes Women, Caramelo Is Alive With The Vibrations Of History, Family, And Love Reading this book is like gulping a shot of high octane espresso The writing is incredibly vivid and full of energy, sometimes it leaves you almost breathless Caramelo is the story of a large Mexican American family, covering several generations Told from the point of view of Lala, the youngest daughter, we travel from Mexico City to Chicago and then to San Antonio, Texas Along the way, we learn the story of Lala s grandparents, parents, and finally Lala herself This book bursts with life, sometimes requiring the reader to slow down in order to fully appreciate the crowded canvas. One of my top favorite books of all times And not because Latina discourse is The Thing right now I think most people never really get past the first 50 pages including those academics who should know better because it s challenging and I believe helpfully marginalizing to the Anglophone reader The plot is circuitous, anti teleological, and thoroughly rasquache in the political sense of the term This could be the best Chicana novel, defining the new Chicano experience, a perspective refreshingly divergent from the old school Chicano machismo and looking instead toward a new identity, a new narrative. I enjoyed this Mexican American family story rather than I expected to, so thanks to the 21st Century Literature group for selecting it for a group read Cisneros is a poet who is not as well known on this side of the Atlantic.Those who like to understand every word of a novel will find this a frustrating reading experience if, like me, they have never been taught Spanish The text, particularly the sections set in Mexico, is liberally sprinkled with Spanish and Mexican dialect words and phrases, and while many are translated or partially explained afterwards, many are not For me this did not seriously affect my ability to follow the story or understand the nuances of the Mexican characters Another minor frustration is the number of sometimes lengthy footnotes, which appear at the end of the chapters, which means finding them is a little disruptive to the reading flow.The book is largely about the nature of truth, fiction and good lies particularly in the way they relate to the telling of family stories.In the first part we meet the narrator Celaya known as Lala on her large family s annual summer drive from Chicago to Mexico City to visit her paternal grandparents The Awful Grandmother is in some ways the dominant character in this part of the book, which is wonderfully described and often funny, building to a dramatic confrontation on Acapulco between Lala s mother and grandmother.In the second part an older Lala is still the narrator, as she tells the family story starting with the grandmother s parents, the last in a line of manufacturers of rebozos fine spun shawls of which the Caramelo is one of the most popular designs The grandmother s rebozo is one of her most treasured possessions Her story is essentially a tragic one, and at times she interrupts Lala s version, usually to demand something happier.In the final part the story moves to Lala s teenage years, and follows their father s ultimately failed attempt to break away from the Chicago upholstery business he runs with his two brothers by buying a ramshackle house and starts his own business using money from the grandmother. Although at times I got a little lost in the different threads involved in this story, overall I loved reading about the Reyes family and their summer visits to the narrator s grandmother s house in Mexico City The Awful Grandmother, she is called Why Eventually, in the middle part of the book, we learn the answers to that question, and I for one had much sympathy for her after that Slowly, over the course of the entire book, we see our narrator growing up, learning who she is and who she wants to be, all thanks to the family she sometimes wants so much to get away from There were many details in the book that I would not have understood as completely if I had read this before I spent eight years living in Mexico I actually feel a bit homesick right now I need to go watch an old black and white Pedro Infante movie or maybe dig up my stack of old Spanish language comic books that I bought from the guy in the local book bazaar Comic books that came out once a week back in the old days, and that the Awful Grandmother herself used to read and save I need to explore this author s other titles

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