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Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

Caramelo (original 2002; edition 2003)

by Sandra Cisneros

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1,498307,457 (3.59)70
Authors:Sandra Cisneros
Info:Vintage (2003), Edition: First Vintage Contemporaries Edition, September 2003, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

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Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros (2002)

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    Behind the Mountains (First Person Fiction) by Edwidge Danticat (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both books have a similar feeling of a young girl who is too young to understand the events unfolding around her.

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English (26)  Dutch (3)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I rarely re-read books but I have read this twice. The audio version is excellent because the author narrates it herself. She brings the story alive with her enthusiasm and lively voice. ( )
  godmotherx5 | Apr 5, 2018 |
A loosely autobiographical novelization of the life of a young Mexican American girl including a good deal of her family's history. Peppered liberally with Spanish words and phrases, not always translated. Interesting, but pretty slow-moving and sometimes almost on the edge of boring. It was difficult to care for these characters as only the (unreliable) narrator seemed like a decent person. A middle part where the history of the Awful Grandmother is being told is interjected with comments from another in italics. It took quite a while to figure out who this other was supposed to be. ( )
  EmScape | Dec 4, 2016 |
Things I liked: The storyline of Lala and her immigrant family living in Chicago, then San Antonio.
Some of the prose was beautiful. What I didn't like: Fragmented Vignettes. Did not flow. The Spanish made it feel interrupted because I had to either skip over parts or constantly look up a phrase. I did not like all the footnotes and also cameos of famous people that did not advance the story. I would not recommend this work of Cisneros to anyone who was not already a fan of her writing. ( )
  Likeitorlumpit | Dec 3, 2016 |
an old shawl (color) caramel rebozo
I adore these Spanish stories — so whimsical sometimes real, or imagined — very rich romantic tale of homelands + past
"You are the author of your life ... tragedy or comedy"
"Life is Short/Anger Long"
"I hurt you — I'm sorry" — me to Amie again + again

Every year, Ceyala "Lala" Reyes' family--aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and Lala's six older brothers--packs up three cars and, in a wild ride, drive from Chicago to the Little Grandfather and Awful Grandmother's house in Mexico City for the summer. Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers and to understand her place on this side of the border and that, Lala is a shrewd observer of family life. But when she starts telling the Awful Grandmother's life story, seeking clues to how she got to be so awful, grandmother accuses Lala of exaggerating. Soon, a multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, or shawl, that has been passed down through generations of Reyes women, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.
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  christinejoseph | Jul 23, 2016 |
Caramelo is a novel that spans multi-generations and lapses often into Spanish. As a person who does not understand Spanish, I found that the many Spanish words broke up the continuity of the narrative, which was already pushing boundaries as the story vacillated from present to various past remembrances. Yes, there were several interesting and humorous stories, but there was much that was off-putting. Shouting matches, ultimatums, lies, fights, and deceptions seemed to be the norm. I know that many people absolutely loved this tale. I found it a chore to get through. ( )
  Maydacat | Jul 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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We're all in the photograph above Father's bed. We were little in Acapulco. We will always be little.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679742581, Paperback)

Caramelo, Sandra Cisneros's first novel since her celebrated The House on Mango Street, weaves a large yet intricate pattern, much like the decorative fringe on a rebozo, the traditional Mexican shawl. Through the eyes of young Celaya, or Lala, the Reyes family saga twists and turns over three generations of truths, half-truths, and outright lies. And, like Celaya's grandmother's prized caramelo (striped) rebozo, so is "the universe a cloth, and all humanity interwoven.... Pull one string and the whole thing comes undone." The Reyes clan, from Awful Grandmother Soledad and her favorite son Inocencio to Celaya, follow their destinies from Mexico City to the U.S. armed forces, jobs upholstering furniture, and to Chicago and San Antonio. Celaya gathers and retells, in over 80 chapters, the stories that reinforce her family's, and subsequently her own, identity as they travel between the U.S.-Mexican border and within the United States. Rich with sensory descriptions and animated conversations and peppered with Mexican cultural and historical details, this novel can hardly contain itself. Also an acclaimed poet, Cisneros writes fiercely and thoroughly, and her characters enter and exit the page with uncommon humanity. Although the book is long--over 400 pages plus a relevant U.S.-Mexico chronology--in many ways it's not long enough. The world of the 20th-century Mexican family, and of the Reyeses in particular, is as complicated, timeless, and satisfying as our own family stories. --Emily Russin

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

During her family's annual car trip from Chicago to Mexico City, Lala Reyes listens to stories about her family, including her grandmother, the descendant of famous shawl makers, one of which has come into Lala's possession.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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