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The Sisters of Alameda Street

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  614 ratings  ·  73 reviews
A generational saga that mixes historical fiction with the romance and intrigue of a Latin soap opera.

When Malena Sevilla's tidy, carefully planned world collapses following her father’s mysterious suicide, she finds a letter—signed with an “A”—which reveals that her mother is very much alive and living in San Isidro, a quaint town tucked in the Andes Mountains. Intent on
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Skyhorse
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Natalia Sylvester
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to read an advanced copy of Lorena Hughes's debut novel and was happy to provide a blurb for it. This story and the writing are at times funny and yet suspenseful, and always engaging and full of heart. Here is what I wrote for the blurb:

"Gripping and suspenseful, The Sisters of Alameda Street is the fascinating story of a young woman's quest to find her mother among a family she never knew she had. Hughes's cast of characters and their mysterious pasts twist and turn as mistaken
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

WHAT A DELIGHT! I admit I wasn’t sure at first, since I had never read something quite like this, but the synopsis caught my attention and, mostly, the fact that it was set in Ecuador in the 60s! There was also a quote that said: “A generational saga that mixes historical fiction with the romance and intrigue of a Latin soap opera” and thought: well, for sure it’ll be entertaining! AND IT SURELY WAS. Once I started it, I couldn’t stop, I had to pack my suitcase and visit my family but I
Anna Dowdall
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When you meet this book’s engaging 20-year-old heroine in a dirty taxi for the first time on page one, Malena Sevilla is itching to get her hands on a feather duster. Later, you’re not all that surprised when she starts a mud fight with a cousin—because Malena, in coming to sleepy San Isidro in search of her roots, is changing fast. By then she’s met her four mysterious aunts, the slightly mythic sisters of Alameda Street, all with names starting with an A. At least she believes they’re her ...more
Nina Laurin
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Sisters of Alameda Street is described as historical fiction meets Latin soap opera, and it delivers on both fronts. It's set in a time and place I wasn't familiar with before: a rich setting where conservative religious values coexist with tango competitions and nightclubs and drama never runs low. Plus, it has the addictive, page-turning factor of frothy soap opera full of jealousy, secrets, and doomed love.
The premise grabs the attention: Malena knows one of the Platas sisters is her
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Her mother might live in this house. There was, of course, the possibility that she might have moved somewhere else, but what if she were here, at this very moment? Melena could be a few minutes away from meeting her. Seconds even. A tremor started in her gut and traveled all the way down her legs.

This is a saga, and it is full of secrets and dramas. After Malena Sevilla loses her father to suicide, she makes discoveries buried deep in her father’s trunk. Who the heck was her father paying on
Marianne Donovan
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
In The Sisters of Alameda Street when Malena Sevilla's father commits suicide, she finds a letter simply signed with an “A” that seems to imply that her mother was alive, not dead as she had been told. Following the return address to the town of San Isidro, Malena goes undercover to see if “A” still lives on Alameda Street. She discovers the family had 4 daughters, Amanda, Ana, Abigail and Alejandra. Which sister is her mother? Set in 1960’s Ecuador, the book covers Malena getting to know her ...more
Malena was raised by her doting grandmother and loving father in a city in Ecuador. Both revered the memory of her mother and taught her to honor her memory. After Grandma’s death, it is just her and her mathematician father. Imagine her shock when she comes home from nursing school to find her father has committed suicide. Alone she goes through his things and finds that her mother may not be dead and her father appears to have been blackmailed. Heedlessly she boards a bus to the address on an ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very engaging story! I couldn't stop reading.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story had a bit of everything from mystery to family drama. The author believably blended setting, culture and era. Lorena Hughes wrote the characters so well that emotion is conveyed to the reader. For example, when Malena is crying on Claudia's wedding day I found myself caring about the outcome of each character. Lorena Hughes skillfully sent the reader looking in different directions for clues to the conclusion. However, Malena's complete quest is revealed it completely shocks & ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I've been very into historical fiction lately, especially mysteries spannng multiple generations, so this novel was a delight to discover. It was a little dramatic, like a soap opera, but in all of the best ways. If multi generational mysteries with a sprinkle of romance float your boat, I strongly recommend giving this on a chance :)
Meghan Masterson
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Set in 1960s Ecuador, THE SISTERS OF ALAMEDA STREET follows Malena’s search to find her mother, one of four very different sisters whose names all begin with A. The complex relationships and well-drawn characters are just as vibrant as the setting of San Isidro, making this book a delight to read. A charming debut by Lorena Hughes!
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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Overall Review:
The Sisters of Alameda Street starts with a single tantalizing question that will grab readers from the very first page. With endless twists and turns, plus mysteries right and left, this soap opera-esque story never slows in pace. The Sisters of Alameda Street is set in Ecuador and flits between the 1930's and the 1960's. Author Lorena Hughes expertly captures the time period and the large cast of characters. The novel's lead heroines --
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A family saga filled with strong, resilient women.

Please note: I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an hones review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

My grandmother came from Mexico to America as a child. While she spoke fluent English, one of her favorite pastimes was watching telenovenas (Spanish language soap operas). We weren't allowed to call Grandma or disturb her in any way when her favorite show was on. She was
Kathleen Gray
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this primarily for the unusual (for me) setting in Ecuador. Malena's quest to find her mother and her effort to untangle her family history are the basis for this saga, which could, as some others have commented, be a telenovela (it would make a wonderful movie.). The secrets and lies might not seem as important today as they would have in a small town in Ecuador in the 1960s so keep the time frame and location in mind. Thanks to edelweiss for the ARC. Try this one for something a bit ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A quaint little village in the Andean mountains of Ecuador, a fine organized home where everybody leads traditional lives ruled by moral and religion, and three unfulfilled women condemned to atone forever for past mistakes. Then, in comes the stranger, Malena Sevilla, who pretends to be the daughter of an old acquaintance of the family. The faked identity will help her sleuth around freely. She has come with a mission that will drag skeletons out of closets as the identity of Malena’s ...more
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 historical fiction fans will like this one. For me it was ok. I had a hard time emotionally connecting to the main characters. I started to skim a little because I definitely wanted to know the outcome. The last 10 or 20 percent was very good and I finally felt a bit invested in the characters. I’m hit or miss with historical fiction so don’t let me 3.5 rating give you pause if this book interests you. I think most will like it.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the twists and turns, the clues that pointed in too many directions as Malena tries to figure out who her birth mother is and the history of her father.

I didn’t the rough sexual encounters and there were too many times she could have confessed who she was and didn’t it was getting tedious.
Claire Matturro
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Compelling book, with a rich, authentic feel and tone. Great world-building on the author's part as I felt I was right there in the thick of the story. Reading this book took me away to another culture and time, and I learned a good deal as I read. I enjoyed reading it with its sharply drawn characters and well-crafted sentences.

The story starts off with a simple enough concept. Malena, a young woman in Ecuador in 1962, sets out to find her biological mother--a woman she had believed long dead
GSMC Book Review Podcast
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The sisters of Alameda street tells the story of Malena, a young woman who finds a letter after her father’s death that changes everything she thought she knew about her mother. All of her life Malena thought her mother had died in a car accident and so she was raised by her father and grandmother. The letter, though, shows that this wasn’t the case and her mother may, in fact, still be alive. Finding the letter sends Malena on a journey not only to a new city but to a series of events that will ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I started this book and saw it was based in Ecuador, I assumed it would be a translation, which can be a hit or miss. This book, if it was translated, was done excellently.

The story is smooth, the characters well thought out and their backstories intriguing. The main character knows one of the sisters is her mother, but the author keeps the story spinning so that the reader believes they know who it is, just to have another chapter hint that it might not be who you thought!
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Alameda Street Sisters kept many secrets. As with most hushed-up affairs, it all comes back decades later. Strong characters and big families can sometimes conceal many unwelcome truths. Dig in to this rewarding tale of strong women.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Although apparently written in English, this read like a translated South American novel it should, given the subject matter. Suspenseful until the very end, because our heroine isn't who she says she is.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacqueline Thorn
Highly recommend

Really enjoyed these well fleshed-out characters. What a family! Stayed up late at night wanting to know what happened next.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I couldn't read it fast enough because I wanted to know what happened. It was like a mystery book, with romance and drama. I loved it.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a treat, from page one I couldn’t put THE SISTERS OF ALAMEDA STREET down. It’s not just the intriguing mystery and unique setting, the main character Malena gets under your skin making you experience everything happening to her firsthand. My heart was literally hammering in my chest until the very end.
I cannot recommend this book enough.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are four sisters with names that begin with A. So, here's a tip; keep track of them, their boyfriends, husbands, lovers, family members, etc. With that in mind, this is an intriguing little novel of a young lady named Malena, who is trying to discover which of the four sisters - none of whom have been known to her - is her birth mother. Why did her beloved father commit suicide? What is the mystery surrounding her birth? Malena uses subterfuge to discover all the truths about her life, and ...more
Jill Orr
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! The characters were so real and as the story progressed and their complicated histories began to intertwine, I couldn't put it down! I read it in 2 sittings. I also really appreciated the look back at 1960s Ecuador, a time and place I know very little about. The author obviously did her homework here. Highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys family sagas. It would also make a really good book for book clubs - as it raises lots of issues that would make for great ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked the style of writing in this book and I was intrigued by the mystery, but overall the pace of the book was just really SLOW. I wanted things to move a little faster because it felt like the dragging was actually just simply because there weren't enough ideas to fill out a novel this size. The other thing I didn't really enjoy was that the relationships between people felt a little forced. It felt like "falling in love" in this book was so unrealistic and the sort of anger and lack of ...more
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Lorena Hughes was born and raised in Ecuador until moving to the U.S. at 18. She has a degree in fine arts and mass communication & journalism from The University of New Mexico. In the last decade, she’s developed a passion for storytelling and writes novels set in South America, seasoned with mystery and family secrets. Her previous work won first place at the 2011 Southwest Writers ...more