“This is a book that will stay with you. It’s a story about a 15 Year old Dominican girl, who is married off to a man twice her age bc he can bring her to the United States. Ana, has no control over her situation, and comes to the US, speaking no English, knowing nothing about her new country. Isolated in their apartment, missing her siblings and pressured by her mother to send home money, Ana struggles to find her way. She’s torn between family loyalty and finding her own happiness. Ultimately, it’s Ana who has to determine her own agency. What makes this especially interesting is that it’s set in Washington Heights in the 1960s, with the civil rights movement in the background. Yet, that’s all the impact it has, momentous occasions are just background and Ana’s experience is front and center.”
Audrey, Belmont Books
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA COVER TO COVER BOOK CLUB PICK
This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.
Named a Most Anticipated Book by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, O Magazine, Time, Real Simple, Chicago Review of Books, Kirkus Reviews, Nylon, BuzzFeed, Lit Hub, The Millions, Instyle, Bustle, Refinery29, Hello Giggles, AARP, Domino
"Coral Pena's strong delivery is a breath of fresh air...a master of accents and emotion, bringing genuine pathos to the story." — AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner
Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.
As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.
In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.
Praise for Dominicana:
“Through a novel with so much depth, beauty, and grace, we, like Ana, are forever changed.” —Jacqueline Woodson, Vanity Fair
“Gorgeous writing, gorgeous story.” —Sandra Cisneros