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La nina seria, the serious child. That’s how Consuelo’s mother has cast her pensive, book-loving daughter, while Consuelo’s younger sister, Mili, is seen as vivacious–a ray of tropical sunshine. Two daughters: one dark, one light; one to offer comfort and consolation, the other to charm and delight. But something is not right in this Puerto Rican family. Coming of age when American influence threatens to dilute the island’s traditional Spanish customs as well as to harm, perhaps irreparably, its fragile ecology, Consuelo watches her family and culture being torn asunder–much like the island itself.
“A bittersweet tale of the price one pays to reinvent the story handed down by one’s antepasados and familia. Consuelo is both herself and every mujer, and her story her own and that of her island, torn between self-discovery and safety.” –Julia Alvarez, author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents