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Dominicana

Narrated by: Coral Peña
Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Summary

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020. 

A poignant and nuanced portrait of a Dominican teenager's arranged marriage and immigration to New York City in the 1960s.

Fifteen-year-old Ana Canción 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 must 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 César, 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 César to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, dance with César at the Audubon Ballroom 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, 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.

This audiobook includes an exclusive interview between author Angie Cruz and narrator Coral Peña.

©2019 Angie Cruz (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"A thrilling, necessary, and unforgettable portrait of what it means to be an immigrant." (Patricia Engel)

"Dominicana is beautiful, engaging, and cuts right to the heart of what it is to be a dutiful young female from a poor country who is bright in every sense of the word, full of love and hope." (Mary Gaitskill)

"An intimate portrait of the transactional nature of marriage and the economics of both womanhood and citizenship." (New York Times Book Review)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A whole new world opens up to me

I knew very little about Dominican Republic; I knew very little about New York in the 1960s. All I could have said was that undoubtedly there were many people whose lives were invisible, so to speak, as they crossed from one to the other and tried to make it work in their new life. And now here is Anna, to beautifully illustrate that point, and Juan and the rest. What a beautifully textured novel. I can smell the cooking. I can feel the loneliness, and the hope. What a great read!

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Dominican arrives in America

I really enjoyed this story, which explores how Latina women negotiate migration, thrive and survive.

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Spoiled by narration.

the voice was great, credible, but speed of narration spoiled the book.Somehow,an unsatifactory listen, but it had me listening to the end!

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Faultless

I have no faults for this book. The narration was perfect and the story itself a blessing. I is a must read for everyone!