During those times they dealt with poverty. She eventually met Frank Cantor and married him. Santiago currently lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband. Santiago was hailed as "a welcome new voice, full of passion and authority," by The Washington Post Book World. Her memoir, The Turkish Lover, describes her life from the time she left New York at age 21 until her graduation from Harvard in , and focuses on her relationship with Turkish filmmaker Ulvi Dogan.

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We see entire lives lived out through these pages. This unforgettable story tells of the strong and flawed Ana, who imagines herself following in the footsteps of her ancestors to own a hacienta in Puerto Rico. She finds a way to make this dream a reality. What follows is her story and those whose lives intersect with hers.

Santigo is a beautiful writer who tells her riveting tale in episodes focused on each of her characters. Even the minor characters have important roles in the telling.

Major themes in the novel are ambition, loyalty, faith, morality and duty. The book examines these ideas and presents a wonderful story in the form of historical novel. This time period is simply fascinating. The main character frustrated me to no end. She was very guarded and had trouble displaying affection to anyone who loved her. Additionally, the ending of the book was rather disconcerting. One of the final I appreciated this book from an informational standpoint.

One thing I thought was well done was the portrayal of varying attitudes toward slavery. Young Miguel is convinced that as soon as he comes of age to inherit the hacienda he will free all of the slaves. While noble in intent, he also realizes that his fortune and way of life has been built off the backs of slaves and that many of the free people are not much better off than the slaves that belong to his mother.

The book also includes interesting explorations of sexuality, spirituality and romanticism towards the land. PR, then ruled by Spain had not outlawed it All for the love of a sugar cain plantation, which in this book I guess is supposed to be Tara. This one is not it. It reads like a history book discarded halfway and reworked with characters that are just stand-ins that the author can do things to while explaining the history drily.

When I think of great historical fiction--Farming of Bones, House of the Spirits--it also has great characters, alive, not mannequins being manipulated by history. News flash: just because you Someday Puerto Rico will have a great historical novel about independence, Betances, and the migration to Puerto Rico. News flash: just because you say two characters belong together does not make it believable and please, stop telling me what Ana feels and show me, because what you are telling me is not compelling.

There is not one original thought in this book, no beautiful imagery, no great characterization. This is the woman who wrote such beautiful things about guavas. Maybe ten years ago this book would be in the pantheon because we "need" more books by Latina authors


Esmeralda Santiago







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