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If I Bring You Roses
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If I Bring You Roses

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  16 reviews
"I believe in Spirits," Felicidad said.

"I believe in making love," said Aníbal.

In a small town in Puerto Rico, Felicidad Hidalgo spends her days serving busybodies in her aunt's bakery, and her nights dreaming of home. Closing her eyes she can almost hear the sweet songs of tree frogs, reminding her of the mountain village of her childhood, and the family she hasn't seen i
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 3rd 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2011)
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Award-winning, first-time novelist Marisel Vera pens an honest, heart-felt, often sad tale of an idealistic, naïve Puerto Rican girl named Felicidad who goes to America to be with the man she loves.

The story, told from an author omniscient point of view, begins in the early 1940’s in the Puerto Rican countryside and ends about ten years later in Chicago. It follows Felicidad’s life from the time she’s a young jíbara living in appalling poverty in the mountains to the time she gets married and mo
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading If I Bring You Roses. Having known Marisel Vera since I befriended her daughter about six or seven years ago, I knew that she loved Nabokov and Jane Austen. I also knew that family, her Puerto Rican heritage, and life in Chicago were (and are) very important to her. These qualities were evident in If I Bring You Roses. I never knew much about Puerto Rico but the book was so rich and resplendent with imagery and sensations from the land that I f ...more
Juan Alvarado Valdivia
I dug this novel. It was a brisk, engaging read that was well-paced especially after the male protagonist, Anibal, travels back to Puerto Rico and meets the novel's main protagonist, Felicidad. Without giving away too much of the plot, I'll say that Anibal becomes an epic choad. His actions in the second half of the book made me want to beat the shit out of him while I read it; one of the few fiction books I've ever read that managed to spike my pulse with anger. (A mark of good writing, right?) ...more
Joshunda Sanders
You will love the story of Felicidad and Anibal, because it is seductive without being overwrought, beautifully told without its author, Marisel Vera trying too hard to write beautifully and a page-turning love story about aspiration, the cruel realities of an immigrant’s life but mostly about the betrayal of love and, if possible, any redemption from the failings of the human heart. I needed a love story to help me soften the hard edges of my spirit and in this book, I found compassion, fury, t ...more
Nov 18, 2011 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn about a different time and place
Recommended to Jennifer by: CLC Reading Series
Shelves: read-2011
Marisel Vera read at CLC two weeks ago and I brought two of my comp students. My students and I were hooked after hearing the chapter (from the middle of the book) that she read and so I had to buy it. I promised to loan this to my students after I"m done.

Having read the whole book now, I can see that Vera chose the perfect chapter to read because it focused on a turning point in the story. The chapter involved Felicidad Hidalgo's arrival to Chicago from Puerto Rico in 1952 to be with her husban
Started off strong and was a good story overall but midway I started to become distant from the characters and by the end I stopped caring what happened to them. I expected something better from the ending, though the ending that was written is probably more realistic than I wanted it to be.

Excellent portrayal of another culture and the hard times people face and the division even within your own culture.
Nancy H
I really liked this book. It is the story of Felicidad, a young girl in Puerto Rico in the early 50's, whose parents have sent her to work for a relative - a fairly cruel aunt - because they have so many other children to feed and care for in their mountain home. She thinks that she may have found the man of her dreams, but things don't turn out quite the way she expects. This is a really excellent portrait of the difference between the way males and females think, especially in some of the Lati ...more
I recommended this title for a book club discussion after Las Comadres book club chose it as their October read. At a point during the story I became concerned maybe it wasn't and appropriate recommendation for our group, due to some language and salacious passages. As I read on I became convinced it was actually a relevant choice that deals with gender identity influenced by culture and transformation. Our book discussion should be interesting considering we are a group of women that celebrate ...more
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" meets "Chronicle of a Death Foretold," this book provides a fresh and insightful perspective on Puerto Rican customs and culture, while telling a personable tale of life and love. This is the first book in a long while that has made me cry at the ending, both because of its sublime beauty and because there was no more story left to read. A must read!
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Bad cover, good book. It definitely uses the full range of the English language, from the narrator's gorgeous descriptions of the Puerto Rican landscape to the raw descriptions of sex by one of the protagonists. I didn't always connect with the characters, but the author made me feel that I understood them.
Lit FanGrl
Beautifully written story. Vera's prose is poetic with evocative imagery that sticks with you long after the last page is turned. Excellent debut & I look forward to reading more from this author!
Yvonne Flores
A story of love. Love of one's home, family, respect, and appreciation for the smallest of things and muddled with the hope of the love of a man. A person can learn to love - right?
Nancy Clark
Wonderful story-telling in this novel about the immigrant experience in chicago in the mid-20th century
stayed up late to finish this, I'm not sure it was worth it.
Enjoyable, quick read.
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