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Where is Lydia banished to? New York, of course. And in this most indifferent of cities, the former "queen of the Congo line" finds herself in a less exalted role: that of a cleaning woman. This demotion she accepts with a very credible mixture of resignation and rock-ribbed realism: "The hardest part of being a cleaning woman had to do with the way people looked at her; often as if she were 'nothing.' It hurt her most when men did not notice her. The nature of the work itself, the outfit, the end-of-the-day fatigue, the messiness of that labor were not glamorous, so what could she expect." Lydia is less sanguine about her family's difficulties, from her husband Raul's near-fatal heart attack to her son's brushes with the law. Empress of the Splendid Season is in fact an ensemble piece that passes the point of view from character to character, from generation to generation. But it's Lydia's sensibility--at once stoic and sensuous--that ultimately enlivens this latest take on the American (or perhaps Cuban American) Dream. --William Davies --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Good insights into Latino culture of the 60s. Written with a sense of humor, but more serious events of the times explained from her point of view. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Susan Snyder
A pampered young Cuban girl finds herself struggling to survive in a NYC tenement. Hijuelos captures the agony, the pleasures, the battles and the successes as she marries, has... Read morePublished on September 7, 2009 by Jean Sue Libkind
I really enjoyed the way this author painted a picture of a society girl from the good old days in Cuba who ends up in New York as a cleaning lady. Read morePublished on November 3, 2005 by L. Vega
Hijuelos has a way with his words that makes this book easy to read and enjoy.
The story is interesting and captivating. I really enjoyed his portrayal of Latin Americans.
Oscar Hijuelos writes of people with intense rich interior lives. These are people we admire for their emotional constancy and pity for their obsessions. Read morePublished on March 20, 2003 by Sanson Corrasco
Not that this isn't a good novel. But with its Cuban immigrants in New York, great writing and not much of a plot, this is a book that the author's already written a couple times... Read morePublished on February 20, 2002
I kept thinking I was missing something, so I would go back to it, but it never kept my attention, and I did not care about the characters. Quite a dissapointment. Read morePublished on March 3, 2000 by laura rubin
This book is impossible to read. It is sooooooo boring. There is really no plot to it, just description after description. Read morePublished on February 22, 2000 by Lissette Handal