E's Reviews > Caramelo

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
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This book was definitely worthwhile, but Cisneros seems to have been a bit overwhelmed by the task of composing an entire novel. She has many, many gorgeous lines strewn about the book tied to swift dialogue and gripping mini-stories, interrupted by simply cute moments, but the plot and her point are rather blurry if not craggy. She seems to be able to create enough momentum for a certain scene, but she doesn't give much reason for what all the scenes have in common. And while it is an obvious tribute to her own coming of age in a fascinating family, the end is unbearably schmaltzy - especially the last line. It is disjointed and directionless in all the ways "The House on Mango Street" is not.

Since I absolutely loved said novella and "Woman Hollering Creek," I can't help but wonder if her greatest talent lies in shortstories.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
October 5, 2007 – Shelved
January 31, 2008 – Shelved as: novels

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin dare we say it? we humble goodreads reviewers with no professional training in this sort of thing?

yes, yes we do. she was out of her league!




message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree.This book has some great parts,but others don't fit in at all.


Debbie Lightning I would say that there's no need for there to be a singular "message" in her story. Caramelo is by far my all-time favorite book, and part of the reason I love it so much is because its all over the place, and it's kind of resemblant of how life is. life teaches you so many little lessons.


message 4: by E (new) - rated it 3 stars

E Debbie wrote: "I would say that there's no need for there to be a singular "message" in her story. Caramelo is by far my all-time favorite book, and part of the reason I love it so much is because its all over th..."

That's an interesting take on it. Thanks!


Helen This book does not follow a straightforward plot line. It moves back and forth in time between generations. It is not until the end of the book that the reader can look back and see the whole of the story. It reflects how we learn about the lives of our relatives with first impressions as children, and then later with more compassion and understanding as adults.
We understand "the awful grandmother" and her reasons for introducing Candalaria to her son's family only after we get a better understanding of the woman's own life. It makes me want to say to Inocencio on behalf the awful grandmother, "we are not dogs!"


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