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The Dirty Girls Social Club: A Novel by…

The Dirty Girls Social Club: A Novel (2003)

by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I chose this for an entertaining summer read to give myself a break from the heavier challenge list reading I've been doing. It certainly lived up. This is a story about Latina women who met in college & became a tight knit group, even though they were from different places & backgrounds, like Colombia, Cuba, PR, etc. They all became successful in their own rights, & this story, told by a different "sucia" each chapter, explains that sometimes what you see on the outside is very different than what goes on behind closed doors. But through it all, they love each other, & are there for each other when the chips are down. I learned a bit about several different cultures along the way as well, which I really liked. ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
My daughter and me (she was 15 back then) we loved it. This was what I wrote about this book on Monday, July 04, 2005

In case you did not,Rowena (15) stole it from me and she loved the book.
She pleaded to me not to release it she wants me to check if this writer has written more books. (I think this was her first one )

so it was a great success

I had read the first pages but had some problems because so many names and characters are introduced by Lauren in that first chapter
Anyway even though I had some problems I knew I would love this book, and I was right
Love books about various women and there friendships together and in which each of them tells there own story.

That's why I like jennifer Weiner and Rona jaffe's books to and this is one similar.
You did send me (us) a great book of my wish list
Thanks for this spring fling gift :-)

( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
A blurb from New York claims this reads "like the Hispanic version of Waiting to Exhale." I can see similarities in this tale of close girlfriends, but I hated Waiting to Exhale, while I loved Dirty Girls Social Club. I loved how this book recognized and reveled in the diversity of Hispanics. That they are white--and black--and only sometimes brown. That besides Catholic, "Latinas come in 'Jew'" as well as Born-Again Christian. That "Hispanic" embraces very different cultures from Old Spain to Indio to African and various mixes thereof. That some are Republican and not inevitably Democrat. And that those from a Caribbean background who enjoy maduros and tostones are enjoying a cuisine very different from the Mexican food you'd find in the American South West.

Valdes points all this up through the "Buena Sucias"--a group of six friends who met at Boston University who meet twice a year to keep their bonds strong. There's Amber, a California Chicana and musician who is all into the "Mexica Movement" that tries to return to "Aztec" roots; Sara, a Cuban Jew and stay at home wife and mother; Elizabeth, a network television reporter who is a black born in Columbia, Usnavys, a Puerto Rican/Dominican who rose to riches from Boston's projects; Rebecca from New Mexico, a magazine entrepreneur who snootily emphasizes her Spanish origins--and then there's Lauren.

Lauren is the first character we meet, the first voice in a series of first person narrators--all done in present tense in a conversational manner that makes you feel that each is intimately whispering into your ear. It's a little scary how easily I identified with the abrasive "know-it-all" Lauren. Like her I'm half-Hispanic, and with my spotty Spanish and light skin I too have sometimes felt like a "fraud" presenting myself as "Latina." But there's so much of the Sucias' experiences I could identify with and recognized. So many lines where I wanted to shout YES--this. Beyond that, my heart broke for Elizabeth and Sara, and I'm surprised how much I grew to like Rebecca and Amber. Diametric opposites in so many ways and yet alike in how both struck me at first as poseurs--both irritated me at first acquaintance.

I don't know that this novel is so intrinsically good in terms of the writing I'd be so impressed if this was yet another excursion into frothy Upper Class WASPs usually inhabited by chicklit. The book is episodic in structure, and the reviewer that says it rather buys into happiness means having a sig other by your side is right. Yes, much of the plot is predictable yet farfetched. And I have to agree with yet another reviewer who said it was a bit too convenient how the six fell so neatly into different demographic groups of "Hispanic." I also found it hard to credit that portrait of a sweet, sensitive genius drug dealer. But the novel held up enough of a mirror for me to feel right at home with these six (not that home is always a comfortable place to be) and it's not just a celebration of diversity, but of friendship. I loved the time I spent with this group of friends. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 4, 2011 |
The Spanglish was horrendous and off-putting for me (I cringed every time); it made the characters sound uneducated, despite their college degrees. The story could have been more tightly woven, instead of a handful of separate stories that were implausibly and loosely strung together. In the end, most of the ladies fit the female stereotype of needing to end up with a man in order to be happy, which is what the author set out not to do (not to mention that two of them were "gold diggers" despite having their own successful careers). The stories were predictable and not as well written as I would have hoped for a book on the New York Times Bestseller List. ( )
  mssbluejay | May 10, 2011 |
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For Jeanette Beltran, the original sucia, in memory of her mother, Aurea Beltran.
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Twice a year, every year, the sucias show up.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The Dirty Girls Social Club was formed by six very different latina Women who met at college in Boston and swore they'd be friends for the rest of their lives. They feel perfectly licensed to tell each other what to do and how to live their lives, and boy do they ever. Bold, funny, moving and smart, The Dirty Girls Social Club is a life-affirming read with all the glamour, gusto, humour and candour you'd expect from your best girlfriends.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312313829, Paperback)

The Dirty Girls Social Club closely resembles Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale: a handful of young women seek real love and job satisfaction. Unlike McMillan, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez has completely thrown out any literary pretensions whatsoever, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Dirty Girls is a fun, easy, ultimately charming read, not least because the girls themselves are so appealing. Six Latina women become fast friends at Boston University and thereafter meet as a group every few months. Now in their late twenties, they're each on the cusp of the life they want. The novel is narrated in turn by each woman. Feisty Lauren has a column at the Boston Globe, but can't help falling for losers; ghetto-elegant Usnavys is trying to find a man to match her own earning power and expensive tastes; uptight Rebecca is a successful magazine publisher and an unsuccessful wife; beautiful TV anchor Elizabeth has a secret; Sara leads a Martha-Stewart-perfect life as a homemaker; and Amber is a hopeful rock musician in L.A.

The novel works because Valdes-Rodriguez has compassion for her characters; each is faulted, but none is culpable. She also has an eye for the telling detail, as when Rebecca tries to befriend her white husband's stuffy family: "His sister took step classes with me and we shopped for clothes together on Newbury Street and went to the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum one afternoon with Au Bon Pain sandwiches in our handbags." Something about those sandwiches makes the whole enterprise seem more poignant. On the down side, Valdes-Rodriguez is so eager to make things work out for her ladies, her writing sometimes beggars belief. Men actually say things like "Swear to me you're happily married, and I'll stop pursuing you." Yes, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is, in fact, the Latina Terry McMillan. That is, if McMillan were a slighty guiltier pleasure. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:54 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In the years after graduating from Boston University, six Latina friends from widely varied backgrounds meet every six months to dine, share the stories of their everyday lives, and offer advice to one another.

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