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Let It Rain Coffee

af Angie Cruz

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
753273,043 (3.25)5
With her first novel, Angie Cruz established herself as a dazzling new voice in Latin-American fiction. Junot Diaz called her "a revelation" and The Boston Globe compared her writing to that of Gabriel García Márquez. Now, with humor, passion, and intensity, she reveals the proud members of the Colón family and the dreams, love, and heartbreak that bind them to their past and the future.Esperanza did not risk her life fleeing the Dominican Republic to live in a tenement in Washington Heights. No, she left for the glittering dream she saw on television: JR, Bobby Ewing, and the crystal chandeliers of Dallas. But years later, she is still stuck in a cramped apartment with her husband, Santo, and their two children, Bobby and Dallas. She works as a home aide and, at night, stuffs unopened bills from the credit card company in her lingerie drawer where Santo won't find them when he returns from driving his livery cab. Despite their best efforts, they cannot seem to change their present circumstances.But when Santo's mother dies, back in Los Llanos, and his father, Don Chan, comes to Nueva York to live out his twilight years in the Colóns' small apartment, nothing will ever be the same. Santo had so much promise before he fell for that maldita woman, thinks Don Chan, especially when he is left alone with his memories of the revolution they once fought together against Trujillo's cruel regime, the promise of who Santo might have been, had he not fallen under Esperanza's spell. From the moment Don Chan arrives, the tension in the Colón household is palpable.Flashing between past and present, Let It Rain Coffee is a sweeping novel about love, loss, family, and the elusive nature of memory and desire, set amid the crosscurrents of the history and culture that shape our past and govern our future.… (mere)

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Viser 3 af 3
This is the story of an immigrant family, trying to make a better life for themselves in New York, having moved from the Dominican Republic. The wife, Esperanza, wants to live on a ranch....like the Ewing family she watches on the TV show Dallas. She sees her homeland as a poor country with nothing to offer her. Her husband, and (even more so), her father-in-law long to return, seeing D.R. as a place of beauty and promise...a land worth fighting for, as the father-in-law did. We also have a third generation who don't remember/never lived in D.R.

I found the story okay...a bit too much happens, some of it stereotypical. I think the author could have sharpened her plot line. The aspects of the story set in D.R. were the more interesting and more tightly written. ( )
  LynnB | Oct 16, 2017 |
Cruz's second novel tells the story of three generations of the Colón family: Don Chan, his son Santos, and his daughter-in-law Esperanza and grandchildren Dallas and Bobby. Don Chan is a political activist at the end of the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic, and as an old man goes to New York to be with his son's family. Much of the novel is about the family's difficult adjustment to life in New York, the grind of making a living, and the daily humiliations of immigrant life.

The structure is loose. There isn't one strong throughline driving the plot. But the characters are compelling and richly drawn, and the novel is a stirring tribute to the struggles of working class people in both the DR and New York.

One pet peeve: can reviewers please stop comparing every Latina/o writer to Gabriel García Márquez? Please? ( )
  jalbacutler | May 2, 2017 |
Before reading this review, you really must learn something about the history of the Dominican Republic. The majority of the flashbacks concerned the Presidency of Trujillo, but there are other aspect of the country's history that are essential to understanding the story. Also, if your Spanish is as bad as mine, you might not know the exact meaning of about 10% of the dialogue, but you can pick it up within the context. Do not let that scare you off from this amazing book. I just finished it in a 4 hour reading spurt and really and truly felt as if I had been caught completely within the Colon family.

*****Spoiler: Santo, Don Chan's son, dies very early in the book, but his death is pivotal to the story*****

The majority of the book revolves around Esperanza and Don Chan, their fractured relationship, and its impact on Bobby and Dallas, Esperanza and Santo's children. Don Chan joins the family in New York shortly after his wife dies in the Dominican Republic. Don Chan and Esperanza have never seen eye-to-eye, as Esperanza remembers the Dominican Republic (the D.R.) as a dirty, foul, poor country to attempt to scratch out a living. She is addicted to the drama "Dallas," and is determined to live the life of the Ewings. To that end, she is is ducking calls from collection agencies about her credit card bills and working double shifts as a home-care nurse in order to make ends meet and provide for the family. To do so, she must leave her children in the care of her father-in-law, Don Chan, who is elderly and beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's.

Don Chan, on the other hand, remembers the DR as a country of promise and expectation, especially after the fall of Trujillo. During Trujillo's reign, Don Chan was an "Invisible," working underground against Trujillo and his regime. But when Trujillo is killed and Dona Caridad dies, Don Chan loses his will to fight, preferring to impart his wisdom on the next generation and wonder about what could have been. Left to care for his grandchildren, he laments Santo's death and the fact that Santo chose to follow Esperanza to New York rather than work for change in the DR.

As the book progresses, Santo's death creates new meaning for all the members of the Colon family, the realization that they must stop believing that life owes them something (whether it is an 8-bedroom ranch, a leather jacket, or a democratic government) and instead embrace life as an opportunity, a chance to change their situations and embrace the future. This realization is hardest for Esperanza, as she has lived all her life with the goal of being just like the Ewings (off "Dallas") but when she comes face-to-face with J.R. Ewing, she finally begin to see life as it is instead of the way she always assumed it would be handed to her. Her actions and behavior sets the stage for the final, moving pages of the book, were it becomes clear that Santo's death, more than his life, has finally inspired his family to move forward and change their lives.

I can't write much more without giving away the entire book, but I can say that for every student of Latin American culture, this book should be required reading. Angie Cruz should be commended for this excellent addition to the fiction bookshelves, not just the Latin American fiction bookshelves. ( )
  veiland | Jun 13, 2008 |
Viser 3 af 3
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When it's truly alive, memory doesn't contemplate history, it invites us to make it. more than in museums, where its poor old soul gets bored, memory is the air we breathe, and from the air, it breathes us. -- Eduardo Galeano, Upside Down.
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For the men, women, and children who died in the struggle against imperialism during the U.S. occupation in Dominican Republic in the early 1900s and in 1965.
En la lucha siempre, pa'lante.
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Don Chan Lee Colon de Juan Dolio ignored the stench that wafted through the valleys of Los Llanos.
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With her first novel, Angie Cruz established herself as a dazzling new voice in Latin-American fiction. Junot Diaz called her "a revelation" and The Boston Globe compared her writing to that of Gabriel García Márquez. Now, with humor, passion, and intensity, she reveals the proud members of the Colón family and the dreams, love, and heartbreak that bind them to their past and the future.Esperanza did not risk her life fleeing the Dominican Republic to live in a tenement in Washington Heights. No, she left for the glittering dream she saw on television: JR, Bobby Ewing, and the crystal chandeliers of Dallas. But years later, she is still stuck in a cramped apartment with her husband, Santo, and their two children, Bobby and Dallas. She works as a home aide and, at night, stuffs unopened bills from the credit card company in her lingerie drawer where Santo won't find them when he returns from driving his livery cab. Despite their best efforts, they cannot seem to change their present circumstances.But when Santo's mother dies, back in Los Llanos, and his father, Don Chan, comes to Nueva York to live out his twilight years in the Colóns' small apartment, nothing will ever be the same. Santo had so much promise before he fell for that maldita woman, thinks Don Chan, especially when he is left alone with his memories of the revolution they once fought together against Trujillo's cruel regime, the promise of who Santo might have been, had he not fallen under Esperanza's spell. From the moment Don Chan arrives, the tension in the Colón household is palpable.Flashing between past and present, Let It Rain Coffee is a sweeping novel about love, loss, family, and the elusive nature of memory and desire, set amid the crosscurrents of the history and culture that shape our past and govern our future.

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