A Novel

eBook - 2019
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Shortlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction

"Through a novel with so much depth, beauty, and grace, we, like Ana, are forever changed." —Jacqueline Woodson, Vanity Fair
"Gorgeous writing, gorgeous story."
—Sandra Cisneros

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn't matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year's Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan's free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.
As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family's assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.
In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.


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OPL_AnnaW May 01, 2020

Set in the 1960's, a Dominican teenager is sent to New York to marry a man she doesn't love for the benefit of her family still at home. Despite an unwelcoming environment, she carves out a place for herself and grows in surprising ways.

Nov 05, 2019

I was deeply moved by this story of a young girl's coming of age in New York City in the mid-1960s, grappling with family expectations, lack of prospects, and a domineering and unfaithful husband. Highly recommended.

Jul 18, 2019

Though this story covers just about a year of Ana's life, we see significant alterations in her life. Her life as a daughter in the Dominican Republic is transformed into life as a wife, seamstress, cook and more in New York City. The evocative descriptions of living across from the Audobon and finding her way around in her neighborhood are a beautiful backdrop to the story of Ana. Coincidentally this novel is set in the year I was born and that adds to my attachment as well. I definitely want to read more from Angie Cruz!

JCLGreggW Jun 05, 2019

A stunning coming-of-age tale of a determined young woman from the Dominican Republic, married and sent to live in New York City in the 60s, amid the social maelstroms of that era. Full of heart and passion, her journey from wide-eyed immigrant to self-confident woman is a must for book groups.


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