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In the Name of Salome

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  3,279 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review - La Musa de la Patria

In recent years, novelists Mona Simpson (Anywhere But Here), Karla Kuban (Marchlands) and Susannah Moore (My Old Sweetheart), among numerous others, have memorably explored the mother-daughter relationship, showing us the conflicted, often painful intersections of the lives of their multigenerational characters. But in

Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Plume (first published 2000)
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Aug 01, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of history in literature
Everything of ours--from lives to literature--has always been so disposable, she thinks. It is as if a little stopper that has contained years of bitterness inside her has been pulled out. She smells her anger--it has a metallic smell mixed in with earth, a rusting plow driven into the ground.

Around 1844, the Dominican Independence War gave the Dominican Republic freedom from Haiti. Years later, the Dominican President would turn the country over to Spanish rule. Disorder was inevitable. A r
Dec 19, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it
I love Julie Alvarez! She develops her characters so so well you want to know what happens to them and then don't want to story to end.
review by Debbis Lee Wesselman: "This deeply imaginative portrait of the Dominican poet Salome Urena and her daughter Camila captures the people behind the revolutions in the Dominican Republic and Cuba without idealizing them, without relegating them to mouths spouting political dogma. As Salome says to her young husband when he chides her for writing a non-revo
Loyola University Chicago Libraries
Jan 13, 2011 Loyola University Chicago Libraries rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beth
This is an extraordinary book. The fictional account of a real family from the Dominican Republic, the book follows the lives of both famed poet Salome Urena de Henriquez and her daughter, Camila. I particularly loved its structure; the chapters alternate between Salome and Camila's point of view, and while Salome's story starts at the beginning of her life and progresses toward the end, Camila's proceeds backwards. Salome dies when Camila is very young, yet the two women have a profound effect ...more
Andrea Poulain

Salomé Ureña fue poeta durante algunos de los años más importantes en Republica Domicana, cuando, después de independizarse de Haití, volvió a ser colonia de España un tiempo para tener protección. Todos sus hijos ocuparon grandes cargos o fueron grandes intelecturales, entre los cuales sorprendía Camila Salomé, la menor, que obtuvo un doctorado en Cuba, fue conferencista en América Latina, profesora en Vassar y terminó su carrera en la Universidad de La H
We have a five-star!

In the Name of Salome is a novel that takes the reader through a journey of 100 years of Caribbean history – featured are real historical people and events so you get a good dose of history lessons. The book is told in 2 perspectives, opening with Camila Henriquez Ureña, age 60 in 1960 as she leaves her job teaching in Vassar College to travel to Cuba were young revolutionary Fidel Castro is urging people to come and join him. Camila is the daughter of famed poetess, Salome U
Sep 11, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again the book club selection this month took me to a place that I know very little about, the Dominican Republic. This is a historical fiction novel based on real people, with literary liberties taken by Ms. Alvarez for a bit of interest.

The story follows Salome Urena, the national poet of DR during its early days of independence from Spain, and her only daughter, Salome Camila. The book begins with Camila in her sixties, retiring from her teaching position at a university and trying to fi
Aug 08, 2008 Judith rated it liked it
As much as I loved her other books, Julia Alvarez let me down a bit on this one. She writes historical fiction of Latin American culture, revolution and struggle. In The Time of the Butterflies was a fabulous example of seamless writing and fully fleshed out characters. In her book, In The Name of Salome, her characters are muddy and difficult to keep apart. There are so many different layers of struggles and switches back in forth in time, that it is difficult to keep separate who is who and wh ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This is an extraordinary book. The fictional account of a real family from the Dominican Republic, the book follows the lives of both famed poet Salome Urena de Henriquez and her daughter, Camila. I particularly loved its structure; the chapters alternate between Salome and Camila's point of view, and while Salome's story starts at the beginning of her life and progresses toward the end, Camila's proceeds backwards. Salome dies when Camila is very young, yet the two women have a profound effect ...more
May 16, 2010 Natalie rated it liked it
In my opinion, this book was not as good as "In the Time of the Butterflies" "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" and "Yolanda". I loved all of those books. This one was still good, but I didn't enjoy it as much. It is based on the life of Salome Uren~a - a Dominican Poet who had a huge impact on her country. It was really interesting to learn about her, I hadn't heard of her before. The author, Julia Alvarez trades off each chapter, writing one in the voice of Salome (the mother), and the ...more
Dec 01, 2012 Joleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my second favorite book from one of my favorite writers. I love the concept of how she presents the mother and the daughter and moving both forward and backward through their individual stories until they meet. Like the book of hers that utterly wowed me, "In the Time of the Butterflies," this book delves into history while keeping the characters fresh and vivid and realistic, and it deals with a difficult time in the Dominican Republic and strong women who stood up for what they believe ...more
May 17, 2010 Anastasia rated it liked it
The story itself was perfectly decent and all, the changing of the two narratives was...interesting, but the language was tedious. It took me close to a month to finish this book because the language was just too thick and boring. It may have had something to do with the smattering of random Spanish words throughout the book, I don't speak Spanish so it didn't work so well in my mind. Either way, this was a worthy story if not a good book.
Aug 10, 2010 Katie rated it liked it
I wish I knew more of the actual history of the DR & Haiti. This is a historical fiction based on a real-life family. I had glimpses of what I could learn from the book, but didn't know enough to pick up on the measure of what happened.
I had a hard time following the format - It alternates between chapters about one generation to chapters of another generation, one story goes forwards, the other goes back....
Aug 11, 2009 Marvin rated it liked it
A novel based on the life of a real patriotic poet of the Dominican Republic & her family. It has an unusual structure, with chapters alternating between the first-person voice of the poet telling her story chronologically and that of her daughter telling her story in reverse. It started with a lot of promise, but didn't live up to its promise: too repetetive & too politically correct, perhaps.
Aug 28, 2011 Anna rated it it was ok
This is by far my least favorite book by Julia Alvarez, who is one of my favorite writers. The characters and plot were not very interesting and the writing seemed uninspired. Go read How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents instead!
Jan 18, 2015 Johanna rated it liked it
Took me awhile to get into it. Salomes story kept me wanting more, but the back & Forth with Camilas story made it hard to push thru. It wasn't horrible, but something was missing. Not sure what.
Oct 11, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Per me è stato un romanzo storico accattivante
Yeimi Alvarez
May 22, 2017 Yeimi Alvarez rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Jr.
Mar 17, 2017 David Jr. rated it liked it
Interesting read. I got it based on reviews and my desire to read as much magical realism as possible. Well, this isn't magical realism but I am not giving it a low rating because of this.

For me, it was hard to follow. The story starts from opposite ends of the story and then meets in the middle. It was not just a page turner for me. It was a nice story and I liked it but it just didn't flow.
Brett Swanson
The narrative style of this novel is pretty cool, and made the story that much more enjoyable to me. The book follows the lives of Salome, a famous poet in the Dominican Republic, and her daughter Camila. Only the stories aren't told together. Salome's story is told from the time she is six until her death, and Camila's begins when she is in her 50's and tells her story backwards until she is three. We skip back and forth between each woman's story with each new chapter, and we get a unique view ...more
Jun 24, 2007 Patrick added it
Recommends it for: erica torres
In recent years, literary authors and publishing houses have published dozens of fictionalized accounts of historical figures, with Joyce Carol Oates' BLONDE (Marilyn Monroe) and Russell Banks' CLOUDSPLITTER (John Brown) being prime examples of this genre. Because I'm tiring of such fiction, I never would have bought IN THE NAME OF SALOME if I had known Alvarez had joined this literary trend - and I would have missed out on a fabulous book as a result. Yes, this may not be Alvarez's best work, b ...more
Oct 24, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: latin-america, 2008
Like the only other book of hers that I've read, !Yo!, this book is constructed on an intriguing but semi-disorienting style where no two consecutive chapters are told in the same voice or by the same person. In !Yo! each chapter focused on a different member of a large family, and Alvarez switched between first person and third person tactics. Here, the chapters alternate ABABAB..., with A chapters telling the chronological story of the 'mother' from childhood through death, and the B chapters ...more
Jan 16, 2009 Callie rated it liked it
I'm finally done with this book! It didn't take that long to read, but it felt like forever, because I really want to give my attention to Called Out of Darkness. Randy told me to read this because he is teaching it, so Randy if you have some insights, I 'd love to hear them.

Alternating between the stories of two women, a mother, national poet of the Dominican Republic, (that's the title I give her) and her daughter who never knew her mother except through legends, letters and her mother's poet
Susie Besecker
The author has a good style and creates captivating characters. Was confused with all the Salomes and Papanchos however. Strong vocabulary, good struggle, historical fiction, interesting perspectives. Ending - a bit weak but not terrible.
Jan 29, 2009 Phyllis rated it liked it
From the book jacket: This novel tells the story of two women -- mother and dauther, one a poet, the other a teacher -- and how they confronted the machismo in two Caribbean revolutions. Set in the Dominican Republic of the late 19th century, on the campuses of 3 American universities, and in Communisit Cuba of the 1960's, this sstory is based on the real lives of a volatile, opinionated, romantic, intrigue-loving family.
Ms. Alvarez' decriptions are superbly alive -- they get better with every
Lorri Coburn
Oct 02, 2015 Lorri Coburn rated it really liked it
This book was not an easy, quick read, so the fact that I endured to the end tells me I liked it a lot. Salome Urena was the poet laureate of the Dominican Republic in the 1800s, and she began the first school of higher education for women in her country. She married a revolutionary who later was President of D.R. for four months. The history of the ongoing revolutions and constant governmental changes (about 30 in 50 years) is fascinating.

The book goes back and forth between Salome's life and
Apr 01, 2008 Anna rated it liked it
In the Name of Salome is the story of two women, a mother and a daughter. It is written by interweaving the mother and daughter's stories between the chapters: one chapter tells the mother's story, the next comes back to the daughter's world, etc. I have read books like this before, and each time I get confused between the characters. I found the mother's story to be more enthralling, and was annoyed when the chapter ended. However, this may be the author's intent, because she wrote the mother's ...more
Aug 02, 2008 Jan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy historical fiction and/or Latino Literature
Recommended to Jan by: I sought more of her books after reading In The Time of the Butt
Offering an historic interpretation of a beloved Dominican poetess, this is a wonderful novel. I enjoy how it weaves a story between two heroines, Salome Urena and her daughter Camila (the former being the national poetess of Dominican Republic). The story line is woven from both of their lives and lifestories: Salome's being told from her childhood through her death, and Camila's being told from her old age going back to her early childhood. Because Salome, the mother, died when Camila was so y ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Katherine rated it really liked it
I am beginning to be a fan of Julia Alvarez. This is the first book I read of hers that is based in the Dominican Republic. This story revolves around the famous poet Salomé Ureña and her daughter Camila Salomé. It is a book written from two perspectives and each chapter exchanges between both point of views. It was a little confusing at the beginning, but once you get what's happening in terms of who's who in the story, it becomes a page-turner.

I was intrigued by the story of this famous poet,
Claudette Banda
Jul 15, 2007 Claudette Banda rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kingsolver fans
Shelves: favs, latin-america
I thought that Alvarez did a really nice job with her details... following the revolutions in the DR, paralleling them with events in Cuba, the US, and Europe. For that reason this book deserves much merit; also there were several turns of phrase I thought remarkable, timeless, etc. Still, I can't shake the idea that the style of narration was too consistent and flat... Salome Camila (main character), having so little owned, flagrant personality growth made for a redundant latter half of the boo ...more
Evanston Public  Library
Camila's notion of home is in the constant memory of her mother Salomé--she even prays, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of my mother, Salomé." Named Salomé Camila, she struggles with a self-imposed expectation to be as talented as or more famous than her mother Salomé. Ironically, her freedom comes at the end of her life when she returns to her "patria" to visit her gravestone. She uses the hands of an illiterate young man to help guide her as she feels the engraving. It is at this ...more
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Julia Álvarez was born in New York City. Her parents moved back to the Dominican Republic when Álvarez was 3 months old and she was raised there until she was 10, when the family moved back to NYC.

She is currently writer-in-residence at Middlebury College and the owner of a coffee farm named Alta Gracia, near Jarabacoa in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. The farm hosts a school to teach l
More about Julia Alvarez...

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