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The Pinata-Maker's Daughter Paperback – June 22, 2013
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Carmen poignantly and successfully deals with her traditional Hispanic upbringing conflicting with the California university experience she desires. The way she feels about being seen with her mother at public evens her mother's piñata-making business her mother's run down and unreliable Chevy pick up truck, and her mother's traditional Catholic values and practices rang true to my life. At the same time, Carmen is proud of her mother and culture, but wants to fit in with the university group. Again, this is something I experienced.
Ms. Granfors does a good job at developing the characters at the university each one forcing Carmen to examine who she is and how she wants to act. Her values and emotions are challenged when she becomes involved with two men: a Hispanic activist and a well-to-do athlete. The banter and practical jokes between Carmen and "Joe Schmo" are very entertaining.
Carmen ultimately makes a decision about her future which Ms. Granfors uses successfully in the next book of the series, Rivers End on the Day of the Dead, which I have read several times and thoroughly enjoyed.
I recommend this book for those seeking a story that will remind you of the "good old days" of living life with abandon, while asking the reader to reflect on personal choices that have been made in the past.