Review by The Mole
A young girl has a husband chosen for her by her mother who sees the marriage as a way for the family to enter the USA. This is how Ana finds herself 'married' to a man twice her age and living in New York at the age of 15. Ana has undergone a huge cultural shock and does not believe she can love her 'husband', who she finds herself afraid of.
I had a PDF version of this book which I read on my phone but... despite the formatting issues that this creates I found it extremely engaging and surprising.
The author interviewed generations of Dominicans and compiled this novel (for that's what this is) from bits and pieces of accounts that she picked up from family and friends of the family - so it is not entirely fiction.
The sacrifices that Ana makes to her family came as a shock to me - one that became more concerning when reading the final author's notes to explain the book.
I didn't love this book - because that feels like condoning the behaviour of everyone involved. I did find it fascinating and extremely disturbing. Well worth a read by anyone.
This has now been long listed for THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2020 and it's a book well worthy of going further.
It's not a huge tome so won't take forever to read but it's well written and powerful.
Publisher: John Murray
Genre: Adult fiction