Review: Dominicana

Set in the 1960s, Ana is a 15-year-old girl from the Dominican Republic growing up in poverty, who is forced to marry Juan, a man twice her age, and move to NYC. Her parents, particularly her mom, are blinded by the hope of being able to migrate to the U.S., and Ana seems to be their only way out. In turn, she sacrifices her adolescence for the sake of helping her family. Juan promises to take care of their daughter, and everyone believes him.

Young and naive, Ana thinks her life in NYC will be perfect. But her marriage soon becomes unsettling. He’s unfaithful, violent, and manipulating. Dominicana is a moving and heartbreaking coming-of-age story, discussing topics on immigration, love, and family. It portrays the hardships first-generation immigrants experience before adapting to a new culture. It’s also a story about women standing up for themselves amid a misogynist society.

I did not expect to be so captivated by this book. Ana felt like a little sister I’d wished to guide and advise, give her a hug and tell her things will get better. Because they do, everything always passes.

Overall rating: 4/5

“Don’t forget about us. No lights are too bright to forget where you come from. Remember. Remember.”

Angie Cruz, Dominicana

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