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The Aguero Sisters (Ballantine Reader's…

The Aguero Sisters (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (1997)

by Cristina Garcia

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The Aguero Sisters is a story of a Cuban family and their complicated relationships. It is told mainly from the point of view of the two sisters, Reina and Constancia, but also includes chapters in the voices of their children and father, jumping around in both time and space. I found it difficult to follow this disjointed story and at some point gave up on trying to track each character's familial relationships. There are many elements of spirituality and magic, and strong sensory descriptions everywhere, particularly smell and taste. There are lots of poetic turns of phrase, some of which I found jarring. There were times I didn't know quite what to make of this story, but continued on out of of curiosity as the Aguero family secret is gradually revealed. In the end, I was vaguely dissatisfied, as Garcia leaves it to the reader to puzzle out the characters' motivations, which are puzzling indeed. If this had not been my own book club pick (before I had read it), I don't know that I would have finished it. ( )
  ChickLitFan | Oct 31, 2009 |
The sisters in question are from Cuba, with the book being narrated by the two very different siblings, their father and occasionally their children. The sisters are very different, Reina is a companhera electriction living in Cuba, while is a very succesful make-up seller in New York. The two have never been close, Reina, known as companhera amazona, is a practical woman, in touch with herself and her sexuality. Her sister, on the other hand, Constancia deals in products meant to prolong youth and beauty, but in a way that hides the true person. The elephant in the room is their mother, and her death years before as well as Reina's paternity. Family relationships in an ever-changing Cuban world.

There is a fantastical element to the book, strange occurences as well as votives to the god Chango. Nothing is black and white, which makes it an engaging book. ( )
  soffitta1 | Nov 2, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345406516, Paperback)

In this novel of family history and myth, Christina Garcia gives us Reina and Constancia Aguero, sisters who grew up in Cuba, but who haven't talked in thirty years--not since Constancia snuck out of Cuba and crossed the water to the United States, where she assimilated into her adopted country's culture as completely and deeply as she could. The beautiful and charismatic Reina, meanwhile, stayed in Cuba where she became a skilled electrician and a staunch supporter of la revolucion. The long-estranged sisters are finally heading toward a reunion, and as they come together their own stories and the legacy of their scientist-parents is told and retold in an elegantly written novel that investigates the several natures of identity--personal, familial, and even national.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:30 -0400)

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Reina and Constancia Ag ero are Cuban sisters who have been estranged for thirty years. Reina--tall, darkly beautiful, and magnetically sexual--still lives in her homeland. Once a devoted daughter of la revoluci n, she now basks in the glow of her many admiring suitors, believing only in what she can grasp with her five senses. The pale and very petite Constancia lives in the United States, a beauty expert who sees miracles and portents wherever she looks. After she and her husband retire to Miami, she becomes haunted by the memory of her parents and the unexplained death of her beloved mother so long ago. Told in the stirring voices of their parents, their daughters, and themselves, The Ag ero Sisters tells a mesmerizing story about the power of myth to mask, transform, and finally, reveal the truth--as two women move toward an uncertain, long awaited reunion.… (more)

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