Dreams of Significant Girls
Shirin is an Iranian princess; Ingrid, a German-Canadian eccentric; and Vivien, a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker culinary phenom. The three are roommates at a Swiss boarding school, where they spend their summers learning more than French and European culture. As the girls’ paths cross and merge—summers together, school years separate—they navigate social and cultural differences...more
It turned out the book was NOT about lesbian lovers, no, but actually three girls and three summers they ...more
Well, I can tell what this book wanted to be. It wanted to be this beautiful, stunning story of how three girls from such different backg ...more
As the synopsis says, the three girls are sent by their families to a premier Swiss boarding school for a summer session. Each girl is sent for a different reason, and each has her own goals and gripes associated with the trip. The three are placed in the same dorm room together, and each fills ...more
DREAMS OF SIGNIFICANT GIRLS reads like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, aimed at a substantially higher age group. Set in the 1970s, Garcia's strengths lie in honestly exploring mature awakenings in young teenagers with an air of both sensitivity and brashness, but also the friendships that the girls develop. The three girls who we follow in this book, Shirin, Vivien and Ingrid, change so much during and inbetween the three summers at PierPont Boarding School for Girls, that it makes ...more
I don't even know why I picked up this book in the first place. The title was really unappealing, and the synopsis portrayed the characters as complete snobs. Yet I still grabbed this book off that library shelf, and now I do not regret doing so.
This story revolves around three girls, and three summers. Vivien comes from a loud and boisterous family, but still struggles to find her true self; Shirin is the baby of the family, the Iranian princess that has it all; and Ingrid is a feisty ...more
However, I found it hard to understand the motivations of the characters. They acted on impulse, all three of them, but I never quite got the whys of it. It made it d ...more
"I believe the feeling would never end. We hugged so hard and so long that we knew we'd stay together no matter how far afield we went. if you'd ask any of us where our dreams might take us, our answers wouldn't have been as certain as knowing, in our hearts, that our friendship would last forever."
The first impression when I read the first chapter of this book is that there is a possibility that I fall in love with it. And so do I. I love the themes that the book set is a boarding school in Swi ...more
Things not working for this book:
1. Repetition of the word "exotic" when describing people in poverty in other countries. That's just odd that someone would do that.
2. "At least he isn't gay." Ingrid chuckled. "Im ...more
With a title like this one, I was expecting something profound or more interesting that what I got. Apparent ...more
I feel like I'm getting (even) more selective with the books I read. This was one I was really looking forward to, also. A combination of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with a Swiss boarding school/summer camp element (which OF COURSE reminds me of Bloomability) meant this book had a lot to live up to. And it never really captured me, sadly. Though the writing has a very pretty quality to it, the characters themselves were difficult to like. Both Ingrid and Shirin seemed extrem ...more
This was less like a book and more of a glimpse into a looking glass showing us a reflection of the story of three completely different girls. Through varying situations in their lives they ended up at a posh Swiss boarding school, each wondering just what they could possibly get out of the situation. But more than getting something out of it, their experience changes their worldview and themselves.
To be h ...more
This literary masterpiece embodies everything I am fervently passionate about in my life
The liberation and joie de vivre of the 70's (my favorite era),
A dash of historical elements featuring WW2, the Iranian and Cuban Revolution, and an array of international occurrences Ingrid covered during her career as a photographic journalist,
Realistic and bittersweet occurrences in life and the power of fate,
The power of a female friends ...more
Cristina Garcia has written wonderful books (Dreaming in Cuban). This is not one of them. Dreams of Significant Girls would likely not have made it as a fan fiction. Maybe as a Scholastic paperback in the `80's, but it does have sex, sexual assault, abortion, robbery, attempted suicide, statutory rape, smoking, breaking & entering, running away, compulsive eating (t ...more
Three very different summers.
Friendships that will get the girls through the best of times, and the worst of times.
Let's meet the girls:
Vivien is half-Cuban and half-Jewish. Her Jewish father escaped Poland during the the Nazi era and adopted Cuba as his new home. She loves to cook - and to eat.
Ingrid is half-German and half-Canadian. Her German father was a Nazi soldier before he escaped the aftermath of the war in Canada. She never follows the rules - and doesn't c ...more
The spread-out timeline gives the three characters more room to develop, but it also means that a lot of that development takes place off-page. Shirin, for example, spends the year after their first summer in the throes of a nervous breakdown (or something like that) and comes back ...more
They get stuck as roommates during that first summer - and the two following ones - as th ...more
I liked the idea of these characters, but the characterization leaves much to be desired. Ingrid seemed like an intriguing character, but she turned out to be nothing more tha ...more