Las's Reviews > Lean on Me

Lean on Me by Cherise Sinclair
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's review
Apr 23, 12

bookshelves: erotic, romance

Liked the characters, good story, hot read. Now on to the complaints:

Cherise Sinclair makes the same mistake as many romance authors when writing a Latina/Hispanic character--she has her using random Spanish words to make her seen authentic. To all writers out there...


Maybe non-Spanish speakers don't notice, but those of us who do know the language can tell you that there is nothing less authentic than a bilingual character mixing up both languages when speaking to someone who only speaks one of them. It's particularly egregious in "Lean on Me," because:

1)Andrea was born and raised in the US, which means she's fluent in English and therefore wouldn't randomly throw in a Spanish word;
2)Her mother was Hispanic, but her father wasn't. And since her mother died when she was a child and she lived with her father until her late teens, that makes it even less likely that she would think in Spanish. It would have been more realistic to make her not very fluent in Spanish. Every time she said or thought, "Oh, Dios!" and "Jesus, Maria, y Jose!" and "Senor," I was taken out of the story.

Another issue I had was Andrea's cleaning business. Now, I was perfectly happy to let that stereotype slide, but making her broke on top of that? Did Sinclair not do any research there? Because cleaning businesses make big money. And Andrea OWNS her own cleaning business, she has employees, and her clientele includes offices. What, did Sinclair fear that a financially successful Latina business owner would be too much for her readers' to believe?
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Adriana I agree with your thought process about the language. Given her background, I believe she would internalize thoughts in English and therefore random phrases would also be in English. The author did mention that she hung out with some cousins growing up (remember the liquor store holdup) and that her neighborhood was Hispanic and rough that’s why her father taught her to fight. Maybe because of her surrounding’s growing up she mimicked the phrases that were used around her. I know this was my experience growing up. Mostly I’d only uses these phrases with others of the same background, it was natural for me. Around only English speaking friends it wasn’t natural for me to use them…funny huh? Anyway I enjoyed reading your review.

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