How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
Alvarez tells a fictionalized version of her biography in fifteen interconnected stories. The Garcia girls, four sisters, arrive in New York in 1960—a huge change from their cushioned, wealthy lives in the Dominican Republic. As they acclimate to their new home, mourn what's lost, and find themselves, the sisters share a close bond. The chapters alternate with each sister's perspective, giving the reader a vivid glimpse at four different coming-of-age stories.
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.