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El Sueno De America / the American Dream
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El Sueno De America / the American Dream

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  683 ratings  ·  37 reviews

América Gonzales es empleada de un hotel en una isla en la costa de Puerto Rico, donde limpia los cuartos de extranjeros ricos que miran de reojo. Su madre alcohólica le tiene novio Correa, quien es casado le pega...y su hija de catorce años piensa que su vida seria mejor en cualquier otro lugar menos donde esté America.Asi que cuando le ofrecen la oport

Hardcover, 79 pages
Published May 28th 1996 by Harpercollins (first published February 1st 1975)
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debut fiction novel from one of my favorite non-fiction authors.

This book has plenty of heartbreak. America's mother is an alcoholic, her daughter is 14 and run away from home, her boyfriend is married and is abusive. America gets the chance to leave her home and move to New York and work in the suburbs. She thinks she can disappear. She thinks she can start a new life.

Life always seems to follow you tho, no matter where you go. I liked how America was practical. She wasn't bliding herself with
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Mona  AlvaradoFrazier
Violence, family dynamics, and lots of descriptions of the "have" and "have-nots" makes this an interesting read.

Reading about a character who makes poor choices can often be a turn-off, however the author engages the reader by describing the protagonist and her backstory effectively.

Beautiful descriptive prose keeps you reading but the redundant descriptions on setting is sometimes too much and the eye wants to scan for the forward movement.

I love the dialogue, the emotional reactions, and int
Kate Abbott
I enjoyed the descriptive language in this novel, in particular the contrasts between life on the Island and in NY and CT. I found the characters a bit stereotypical, downtrodden, hardworking latina and her alcoholic two timing boyfriend. And the stereotype of the white working mother was a bit overdone. America came across as a bit one dimensional but the story itself was gripping.
Lauren Candia
I'm familiar with Santiago's memoirs, so I was excited when her novel was an assigned book in one of my classes. Unfortunately, we never got around to reading it in the class. I held onto it because I knew ONE DAY I would pick it up and read it. 5 years later, here it is!

I have to say, I enjoyed Santiago's memoirs much more than I did her novel. There's an honesty in them that I just love. However, she's a great writer and it shows up here in this book.

America's Dream is about a Puerto Rican wo
I stumbled upon this book and on a whim, purchased and I was pleasantly surprised! A first novel and so well done. It's not a suspense novel, yet I found myself turning page after page throughout the second half of this novel; I couldn't put it down!
Touched a cord in me of several emotions, hope, saddness and anger. Recommend it
america is a maid at hotel in puerto rico. she has an alcoholic mother and a sixteen year old daughter. her boyfriend and the father to her daughter is an abusive, jealous type. she is offered a job in america and she takes it. she works for a wealthy family in massachusetts. it's not long before her ex discovers she's fled and comes looking for her. america is hard to sympathize with because she won't stand up for herself and tell him to beat it. i suppose the point is to show how she becomes s ...more
George Zedan
This book was quite a quick read, but very engaging. The story telling style that Santiago uses is straightforward and stripped down. I liked the use of Spanish words that bring the reader into the world of America, the protagonist. The story is average and the ending not terribly surprising, but the reading is worth it. As a white man I don't have a concept of the worldview of a Puerto Rican female but this book does a good job a representing the differences between "Yankee" culture and Puerto ...more
Wow, wow, wow! Esmeralda Santiago does it again! This book kept me glued to it! I could not put it down!! The story is about a woman who had a child early in life (she was just fourteen!!) and the abuse she lived through by the child's father. She finally got a way from him (she sneaked away and headed to NY) but after a few months he found her. I was surprised at how it ends but pleased by it. Another hard read book but one everyone should read!
Val Wilkerson
Story starts out on Viaques Island off Puerto Rico. The main character is named "America",
works as a maid, lives with her mother and her daughter, who is 14. the daughters father has
another family in Puerto Rico but he comes around often, and he abuses America. This story is
about women being abused and also about mother daughter relationships. I really enjoy Esmeralda
Santiago's writing.
this book is great
its about a hotel keeper whose dream is to escape from her molestor and abusive lover. At the hotel she meets this family that offers her a job in the united states. America feel running away from her problems may help till she gets a sad and scary surprise at her arrival.
I struggled to get through this, and if it weren't for a 3 hour plane ride on two separate days, I'd still be struggling. Parts of it were gripping, but most of it was overdescriptive and the plot was just another "she has a dream, but he beats her down" kind of story.
I loved her book When I Was Puerto Rican. This novel is only okay - I've read too many similar stories to this one. If I had read this book in 1996when it was first published, I would have been more impressed because the idea/topic would have been fresh to me then.
The final three or four chapters MADE this book. The tension and fear were beating off the page.

I hope Esmeralda is working on another fiction story. Her memoirs are nearly perfect. I can't wait to read novel that can stand up against Almost a Woman.
María Vega-Tiru
In this book, Esmeralda explains the concept of "machismo" with such accuracy, detail and candidness, she will leave you feeling raw and bruised. This book introduced me to Esmeralda's work - and I will keep coming back for years to come
Esto es un libro muy interesante. Me encanta esto libro porque soy una feminista y lo muesta un mujer poderosa en el fin al menos violencia domestica. Historas pueden ser poderosa en ayuando gente entender una problema.
Sue Kozlowski
I liked it. America lives on Vieques, off Puerto Rico. She works as a maid at a hotel. Lives with her mother and daughter, her husband beats her. She leaves him and goes to Westchester, NY to be a live-in maid.
Lizzie Tannenbaum
The book was a fast read. However, the begining was slow. Towards the end it went faster but left me with a few questions of my own. After reading Santiago's memoirs I felt the book could have had an additional chapter.
Gripping story of a PR woman's struggle and courage to leave her domestic violent husband and travel to the U.S. w/ her kids to start a new life but her past comes back to haunt her no matter how far she is.
Esmeralda Keymolen
This book was a good read. Makes you think about what people have to overcome when they leave their native countries to come to America for a better life and to help their family.
This book provided a wonderful metaphor of the relationship the unincorporated territory of Puerto Rico has with America. It's also just a great story.
I loved this book!!!! I read it in about 8 hours. Esmeralda santiago is one of my favorite and she definitely didnt dissapoint on this one.
A very compelling narrative. Santiago's gift is creating characters through clearly evoked details of their experiences.
This one wasn't worth finishing. It was disgusting how the author described in vivid detail every character's body.
Puerto Rican author with cultural references to the island but not much of a literary accomplishment.
This book was a little more involved than the whimsy of When I was Puerto Rican and Almost a Woman.
This is a book about what people think the American Dream and when you find out its not what you thought
Page turner. A little repetitive but good story and some food for thought in the parenting department!
I first read this in college and now just re-read it. I loved it just as much the second time.
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Esmeralda Santiago (born 1948 in San Juan, Puerto Rico). Is a renowned Puerto Rican author In 1961, she came to the United States when she was thirteen years old, the eldest in a family that would eventually include eleven children. Ms. Santiago attended New York City's Performing Arts High School, where she majored in drama and dance. After eight years of part-time study at community colleges, sh ...more
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“It' her life, and she' in the middle of it.” 3 likes
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