How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez Book Summary

"Poignant . . . Powerful . . . Beautifully captures the threshold experience of the new immigrant, where the past is not yet a memory." —The New York Times Book Review

Acclaimed writer Julia Alvarez’s beloved first novel gives voice to four sisters as they grow up in two cultures. The García sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía—and their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after their father’s role in an attempt to overthrow brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo is discovered. They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Caribbean. In the wondrous but not always welcoming U.S.A., their parents try to hold on to their old ways as the girls try find new lives: by straightening their hair and wearing American fashions, and by forgetting their Spanish. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating to be caught between the old world and the new. Here they tell their stories about being at home—and not at home—in America.

Julia Alvarez’s new novel, Afterlife, is available now.

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How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Julia Alvarez) Book Reviews

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- Too long3 star

Why did Julia Alvarez take eight-hundred and sixty-one pages to talk about snow?

- Beautifully memorable!4 star

Creatively woven tale of the four Garcia daughters' immigration to America from the Dominican Republic. Told in short story form from various characters, each story is masterfully revealing and rich in historical details.

- How the Garcia Girls Got Their Accents Back5 star

A beautiful story written with passion, love of family and the importance of living one's dreams while feeling like a fish out of water! Bravo Julia Alvarez! A fine author, a deeply spiritual and approachable author with whom I had the pleasure to chat across the United daily non stop to Burlington VT some years back! A vivid portrayal of immigrant life and cultural mores of strangers in a new land! Julia, when we met en route from DC to VT your kindness touched me!💜Janice Lipani, aspiring memoirist and author in training!

- Beautifully written5 star

I couldn't put this book down. It's something I think everyone should read to understand one of millions of immigrant stories. The characters are well written and the stories nostalgic. I highly recommend this book!

- Boom! Bam! Meow!2 star

This felt more like a collection of short stories than a novel. Part I, the Garcia sisters as adults, was somewhat confusing. Part III, the Garcia sisters as young girls, was the most entertaining section. My favorite stories included: the girls receiving the dancing dolls after seeing the dancing girls at the Spanish restaurant, the Christmas surprise, and the ghost cat. I really enjoyed the author's note at the end of the book. I think the novel would have worked better for me if it had been a memoir written like Ms. Alvarez's note. But the story was an expansive glimpse of an immigrant's experience.

- Almost a 5....4 star

I loved the parts about the DR. I would give 5 stars but, I found the backwards time frame difficult in maintaining my attention.

- Well...3 star

Not really sure how I feel about this book. I know it went backwards in time, that didn't bother me as much as it did other reviewers. The ending is what bothered me! It just sort of stopped. No real ending or beginning if you want to think of it that way. Very weird way to finish a book.

- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent5 star

Here is a book that eloquently provides insight for the dynamics of second language acquisition, while providing entertaining, heartfelt, identifiable situations that resonate a capacity for honest storytelling. It has placed an accent on my approach to teaching a second language.

- This is the crap NPR recommends1 star

NPR promoted this book as something all good liberals must read. And here it is on iBooks...FREE...and with less than stellar reviews.

- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents4 star

This seems a collection of well-written short stories rather than a novel. I found the lack of time sequence confusing.

- A Classic5 star

Great piece of Latin-American literature. I read it once in college and I just finished reading it again for the second time. It's an easy read with a story line that I feel all immigrants (or children of immigrants) can easily relate to.

- Very boring2 star

It is a okay but very boring and hard to understand for me!!

- Enjoyable Read4 star

Enjoyable book showing change of fortunes as a family emigrated to the US during political unrest.

- very good. Download this book. Worth it;$5 star

Very immigrants went thru same situation;)

- Not worth your download1 star

Not worth the time it takes to download. Dry, disjointed reading.

- Z4 star

It is a nivel book!!!

- Nice easy read4 star

Sometimes simple can be good :)

- boring!!!1 star

not interesting at all. do not recommend

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4 of 5 stars to How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

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@jilliangmeehan outline, how the garcía girls lost their accents, the idiot, out of place. but if you have any recs…

5 star

"We nickname him M.G., a make of car we consider slightly sleazy, a car one of our older cousins might get his Papi…

5 star

@SmallWorldBooks: The author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents returns with a novel years later, reuniting us with the four sis…

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@Liz_av217 !!! Some of my favorites are: • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston • How the García Girl…

5 star

@VoyageoftheMind The Woman I Kept to Myself, by Julia Alvarez is one of my favorite poetry collections. (She's the…

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@TimParksauthor Let me offer you some possibilities, in no particular order: Catcher in the Rye Invisible Man The G…

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The author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents returns with a novel years later, reuniting us with the four…

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