Book - 2002
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From the Publisher: Lala Reyes' grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo, or shawl-makers. The striped (caramelo) is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala's possession. The novel opens with the Reyes' annual car trip-a caravan overflowing with children, laughter, and quarrels- from Chicago to "the other side": Mexico City. It is there, each year, that Lala hears her family's stories, separating the truth from the "healthy lies" that have ricocheted from one generation to the next. We travel from the Mexico City that was the "Paris of the New World" to the music-filled streets of Chicago at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties- and finally, to Lala's own difficult adolescence in the not-quite-promised land of San Antonio, Texas. Caramelo is a vital, wise, romantic tale of homelands, sometimes real, sometimes imagined. Vivid, funny, intimate, historical, it is a brilliant work destined to become a classic: a major new novel from one of our country's most beloved storytellers.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2002
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780679742586
Branch Call Number: FICTION CISNE...S
Characteristics: 439 pages ; 24 cm


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Nov 12, 2016

Interesting insight into Mexican American family life, but the writing is ordinary and the story is too long.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 12, 2015

When Lala and three carloads of her family caravan from Chicago to Mexico City, they step back into the robust cultural heritage she instinctively loves. Cisneros paints a remarkably detailed portrait of two evolving cultures interwoven like the unfinished striped shawl for which the novel is named.

May 04, 2012

I found this book difficult to follow after she begins writing the past history of the family. The book starts in a very engaging manner and then goes back in time. While this device is often used by authors, I found that it over complicated the story line considerably. I am sure this book speaks best to those who are bilingual as the diverging verses and words in Spanish threw me. I just could not keep up with the translations and at times, there were none.

I feel this is a niche book and that niche is very small. Too bad; I would have liked a real entry into this author's mind.

allonsy Jul 25, 2011

Reading this was like getting empandas and ginger pigs and drinking abuelita chocolate on a Sunday morning. Besides writing a wonderful mulit-generational story, Sandra Cisneros perfectly captures the feeling of what it's like to grow up Mexican-American. I have so many memories about places, foods and activities she describes- it was like going home. This is definitely a new favorite!


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