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Song of the Water Saints: A Novel
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Song of the Water Saints: A Novel

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  165 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This vibrant, provocative début novel explores the dreams and struggles of three generations of Dominican women. Graciela, born on the outskirts of Santo Domingo at the turn of the century, is a headstrong adventuress who comes of age during the U.S. occupation. Too poor to travel beyond her imagination, she is frustrated by the monotony of her life, which erodes her love ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Vintage (first published February 26th 2002)
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Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Normally, I have a great appreciation for books that view the history of a nation, a region or a culture through the lens of the fate of a family--"100 Years of Solitude" is the best-known recent example; one of my favorites is perhaps the oldest of them all, the classic Chinese novel "The Dream of the Red Chamber." And I see where Nelly Rosario is going in "Song of the Water Saints"--the history of the Dominican Republic beginning with yanqui armies there and ending with the immigrant community ...more
Diane S ☔
2.5 It is always challenging when reading a novel about a different culture, this being set in the Dominican Republic, that one has not enough knowledge to judge the book or the writing style. In this case I liked the writing, Rosario has a choppier style of writing, often small paragraphs, yet was able to make me feel as if I was part of that culture. I often felt like a voyeur. Like I was there only to observe. Also from these description we get a view of the political situation on this countr ...more
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fiction who are also interested in caribbean culture/history
Shelves: school, newish-books
SO I read this because it was assigned in my "Novel on the Globe" course. We are basically reading a bunch of different novels from places that arent first world or western.

This one takes place primarily in the Dominican Republic. Following three or four generations of women through their struggling between the poor and oppressive society/environment they grow up in and their attempts to realize their dreams and desires. Sound like some corny shit? Well, its actually not. Its just really boring
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took me a while to figure out what this was about, because I thought it had to do with the relationship between Haiti and DR, but it didn't. Good story about three generations of Dominican women -- I could see my grandmother, my aunts/mothers/father oddly enough, and cousins reflected in each woman presented. Had a slow start and felt like Leila's story was rushed compared to Mercedes' and definitely compared to Graciela's. Conflicted between 3 stars or 4, but I'll give it 4. Biggest problem: di ...more
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
eh, it was okay. also read this for Caribbean Romances. I wasn't enamored by the prose, it was pretty expected setting aside these one or two really weird ghost/dream paragraphs that almost get lost in the rest of the novel.
really, i just felt like it was nothing too exciting, and the end was so goddamned cheesy.
the beginning was interesting i guess. it starts off with this postcard of a ... uhm, Caribbean Romance. Haha. but it doesn't really go too deep into what is interesting about photogra
Darshan Elena
This book started slow for me, but it picked up speed and heart as the characters and situations unfolded. I loved the author's approach to sharing Dominican history via fictional narrative, and I felt a special connection to the novel as I was reading it while in the DR. While I know that there are limits to how we can come to know the world through fiction, I long for novels that compel me into the pages, into the lives, into the world. I never came to care for Rosario's characters; their moti ...more
Sarah Phelan
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the 20th century of DR, the story follows a line of women, starting with Graciela, to Mercedes, to granddaughter Leila. Lovely prose connects the three women through visions and dreams and history.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Rad bookstore (La Casa Azul!!!!!), okay book! I struggle with these like multigenerational sagas a lot.
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a family over three generations, gives you an idea about what immigration means for a family, across time, and for the identities that family members form.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Leila's story is just rushed over. I don't see any similarities between her and her great-grandmother...
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book but I ended up having to force myself to finish it.
Feb 01, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too sexually graphic for my liking. It wasn't sweet sexuality, but dirty and almost disturbing. I had to read it for school and would not recommend it.
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lush, imaginative language...and the first two-thirds of the novel are especially compelling narrative. Definitely recommend it!
Nicole Rose
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Nelly Rosario (born 1972) is a Dominican American novelist and creative writing instructor in the MFA Program at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Rosario was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Brooklyn. She received a B.A. in engineering from MIT and an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University.

After the debut of her novel Song of the Water Saints, Rosario was described by Julia Alv
More about Nelly Rosario...