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The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico: A Novel Paperback – August 3, 2010
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- Library Journal review
"The book is ripe with the lush island's landscape, culture, and foods, as well as the political upheaval of the 1960s. Verdita's experience, though, is universal, as she must reconcile both the passion she witnesses and the changes in her own body with a child's perspective of the world. McCoy's intoxicating novel is perfect for multicultural literature classes and best compares with Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street (Knopf, 1994) and Julia Alvarez's How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (Penguin, 1992)."
- School Library Journal review
“Beautiful…steeped in Puerto Rican culture and rich in authentic detail, McCoy’s debut captures the essence of life in Puerto Rico.”
"McCoy's lyrical writing is absorbing"
- Publishers Weekly review
"Sarah McCoy tells a story of magic, myth, and mystery amid political and cultural unrest. You can't help loving Verdita, the world she comes from and the world she yearns for. A delightful debut by a promising and saucy new writer."
- Sheri Reynolds, author of A Gracious Plenty and Oprah's Book Club Rapture of Canaan
"Like snow in Puerto Rico, this novel is a rare pleasure. A sparkling debut by a writer who possesses a feel for place and time, a sense of the sacrifices love calls us to, and an uncommon talent for mapping the territory of the heart."
- Janet Peery, author of Alligator Dance and National Book Award Finalist The River Beyond the World
"Sarah McCoy has written a story so replete with sensuality, so infused with love and community, so exquisitely observant and poetic, the reader can only wish for a package tour to the dream that is Verdita's life."
- Sandra Scofield, author of Occasions of Sin and National Book Award Finalist Beyond Deserving
About the Author
- Item Weight : 6.1 ounces
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0307460177
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307460172
- Dimensions : 5.21 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Reading level : 14 - 18 years
- Publisher : Crown; Reprint edition (August 3, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,518,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Incorrect reference to the 'plena' music as romantic and slow in the scene where Verdita's parents are on the couch. This genre has a lively beat...the author meant 'bolero' which is a slow dance and romantic.
This is a coming of age story for Verdita. Like so many girls her age, she has a strained relationship with her mother and she tends to put her father on somewhat of a pedestal. Verdita longs to be an American and live what she believes to be a glamorous life in the States. She is in that awkward phase caught between childhood and young adulthood. Wrapped up in the plot is also the issue of whether Puerto Rico will remain a commonwealth or become a State.
I felt like the author captured Verdita's voice well. Her feelings, emotions and actions felt realistic. One part of the story that I found both sad and comical is when Verdita wants to bleach her curly dark hair blond and she lies to the hair stylist, telling her she has her mom's permission to color and straighten her hair so drastically.
"This was it! I was going to be more beautiful than the girls in the States-more beautiful than Mama. Titi Lola brushed out the snarls, and my hair expanded, rising like a black sea sponge. I hated that reflection. Ugly and dark with island hair and island dirt. "
I have to admit, I had my trepidations about this book because I had high expectations. I've visited Puerto Rico several times both during my childhood and adulthood. The summers that I was twelve and thirteen I spent three weeks on the island, so needless to say, Puerto Rico is close to my heart. One thing I really appreciated about this book was that I never felt cheated as I read about the setting and customs.
Author Sarah McCoy captures the culture nicely, the sights and sounds came to life through her prose. The characters speak some Spanish words here and there throughout the story. I felt this was enough for native speakers to relate to, yet I don't think it would overwhelm those who don't speak the language.
However, my one qualm with The Time it Snowed in Puerto Rico is that I found myself somewhat bored towards the middle of the book. I lost interest in Verdita's story and the book never really picked up for me again.
Upon visiting the author's website I see that her mother is Puerto Rican and that she visited the island throughout her childhood. It shows well in her descriptive writing.
Everything from the piraguas, to Old San Juan, to the foods and sweets to her Papi, all conjured nice memories for me and I felt an instant connection with the story in that aspect. I just wish the storyline itself wasn't so slow going. I have to say, this book took me down memory lane a bit and I would try this author again.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers and authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I purchased my copy of this book.
A plesant, one day read. Bears a similiarity to Esmeralda Santiago's "When I Was Puerto Rican."
With Puerto Rico still trying to find her place in America's family, this book becomes relevant to its readers. I do hope that students of history, sociology and cultural studies will delve into the underlining thoughts of Puerto Ricans as they read McCoy's book. Not only does this bring to mind the Puerto Rican politics of the day but also the smells and colors of every day living! It is wonderful to know that our country is still being blessed by great authors!