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Dominicana

Narrated by: Coral Peña
Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

One of Esquire Magazine's 2019 Best Books of the Year

A Good Morning America Cover to Cover Book Club Pick

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.

Named a Most Anticipated Book by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, O Magazine, Time, Real Simple, Chicago Review of Books, Kirkus Reviews, Nylon, BuzzFeed, Lit Hub, The Millions, InStyle, Bustle, Refinery29, Hello Giggles, AARP, Domino

"Coral Pena's strong delivery is a breath of fresh air...a master of accents and emotion, bringing genuine pathos to the story." (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner)

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.

As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.

In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.

Praise for Dominicana:

"Through a novel with so much depth, beauty, and grace, we, like Ana, are forever changed." (Jacqueline Woodson, Vanity Fair)

"Gorgeous writing, gorgeous story." (Sandra Cisneros)

©2019 Angie Cruz (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"Coral Pena's strong delivery is a breath of fresh air - her depiction of Ana blends confidence and naïveté as the protagonist makes her way from her home in the Dominican Republic to New York, from a simple life to a complicated one. Pena is a master of accents and emotion, bringing genuine pathos to the story. At times, her pace quickens precipitously, but the overall impact of her elegant narrative is appealing." (AudioFile Earphone Award)

"Lovely... Compelling... An intimate portrait of the transactional nature of marriage and the economics of both womanhood and citizenship, one all too familiar to many first-generation Americans." (The New York Times Book Review

"Through a novel with so much depth, beauty, and grace, we, like Ana, are forever changed." (Jacqueline Woodson, Vanity Fair)

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Profile Image for MARLENNE
  • MARLENNE
  • 19-09-19

Dominicans in literature

As a Dominican American I relate to this book in so many ways. Fortunately, I was given the freedom of choice. Choice of a career, a choice of my life, a choice for love. Thank you Angie for writing this beautiful story. Many thanks to your mother for allowing you to share her story. I would actually love a sequel if this novel and find out how Ana Ruiz Canción evolves.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Millie
  • 23-10-19

Impressive first effort. Enjoyable.

The Dominican experience I know first hand. The writer clearly lived and shares the Dominican female experience. Timely novel at an auspicious time when we are trying to understand the me too world. One annoying issue is the performance a Dominican voice coach should have been used to authenticate the audible experience. Valiant effort. Awaiting more from this author.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chelle
  • 28-09-19

Great listen

Really enjoyed listening to the book and the author's interview at the end. A mispronunciation here and there by the reader. FYI, abuse triggers during the book.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • misty
  • 23-10-19

Love It!!

This book was one of my faves! I love the story and I even learned a couple of things about the Domincan culture that I never knew.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Raquel Ramos
  • 23-10-19

Thank you!!!

Thank you for making this amazing book. It made me question a few things in my family and to realize that most of my aunts went through that.. Thank you for showing people the true and not have drugs or gangs represent Dominicans but for showing that our parents did everything for a honest living..

2 people found this helpful

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  • Betty
  • 18-10-19

Dominicans and their roots

A must read story about a coming of age, the Dominican culture and the life in the 60s in Washington Heights. Truly enjoyed it. I hope there is a part 2, I would want to know the future of Ana and what happened with Cesar. Or maybe even a book about Cesar as the main character.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jatna
  • 11-10-19

Most read

Love dominicana. Angie writing was very details and it transports you to the middle of the story. Love it

Thank you Angie can’t wait for the next book

2 people found this helpful

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  • Laurel Alvarez
  • 20-10-19

Good Book

The book is good, however, the end seemed rushed. I wanted more. I think she could write at least one more book exploring the other characters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wifey Reed
  • 25-01-20

Ended too soon

Book was very enjoyable but it ended abruptly, leaving you wanting a little more. I hope there is another book to finish out the story. It appears that it is still so much more to tell.

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  • Steffany
  • 15-01-20

Great!

Great narrator! Very true to what it is to be a Dominican and the struggles when you move to a new country.