How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents is the story of a Dominican family that immigrates to the U.S. in order to escape the secret police. The author tells the tale by discussing numerous occurrences during the daughters’ transition to the U.S that impacted their sense of heritage and self. The daughters Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia have distinct personalities, and they are reflected through the events the author chooses to retell about each one. Their parents are also a major influence on them, with the strict, traditional punishments from their father and the encouraging, yet uninformed support from their mother. Unfortunately, the disparity between their parenting styles often caused feud within the household.
The book is sectioned in chapters with one daughter at a time as the focus, but the sequence and timeline are both not uniform. The author’s purposeful disorder allows her to keep the readers’ involved in the book by telling seemingly unrelated stories and tying it all together at the end.
The first sentence of my review may have mislead readers to believe How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents was an eventful novel. On the contrary, this book is not something to pick up for an intriguing plotline or characters. Those who wish to put it nicely could refer to this as a “lighthearted, easy read”. However, in my opinion, reading page after page of uninteresting events in the characters’ lives is pretty hard.
I recommend this book to anyone who is open to simple writing styles and novels. Those who can stomach the boring plot enough to uncover the author’s central message may enjoy it, and might find some insight into the lives of immigrants in the U.S.
Book Review by Teja Mogasala