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Felices Dias, Tio Sergio (Spanish Edition) (Spanish) Paperback – June 1, 1988
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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This is the coming of age story of Lidia Solís, a young middle class Puerto Rican growing up in San Juan (Santurce, between bust stops 15 and 20) in an old wood house. Lidia's father, Gustavo, died in the Korean War and her mother, María Angélica, and Lidia's brother, Andrés go to live in the old house where her mother grew up. There they interact with her aunts Elena, a physician, Sara Fernanda, a secretary at a government office. They come together under her grandmother, Mama Sara.
Their quiet lives are suddenly interrupted by the arrival of Lidia's uncle from New York: tío Sergio. Sergio is mysterious and his move to the extended family home that is ruled by women starts the coming of age process of our protagonist and narrator, Lidia.
Narrated from the first person point of view, the story tells the story of the Puerto Rican middle class in the 1960's. The class distinctions, the racism, the misogynistic "macho " culture in the Island.
Lidia learns that as a woman, she is not allowed to do things men are allowed to do. She learns that woman's sexuality is a sin, while men's sexuality is a unavoidable side effect of life.
She learns that there are rich people and poor people (servants), and then there is the middle class - where the Solís belong.
She learns that there are white people and black people. She's taught that the races can't mix - it's not proper. There is a segment where one of her uncle's, Eustaquio, brings home a Cuban girlfriend who "passes" for white, but the family wants to see Socorro's full family to make sure that there is no black blood flowing in her veins. They even talk about how different black blood is from the blood of white people.
There is a resentment of the Cubans who came after Castro took over to Puerto Rico after communism sets in Cuba. Communist and atheist are considered the root of all evil.
There is a narrative on all the Catholic teachings, which according to the author are the only true teachings from God.
I don't know what to make of the book: it is set in the 60's where some of the statements may have passed as political correct, but in today's world the book is nothing more than a boring racist, religious, misogynist parody of the world. I guess it would read well if you happen to be a Republican...