Grace can read adult fiction? I can indeed! I did read this for class, so I didn’t pick it for myself, but that’s part of what I love about being an English major. Although Dominicana is not a book I would have picked for myself, I found myself really enjoying reading from a different genre and age group–even though Ana is 15.
Dominicana is an adult book, but it follows a 15-year-old Ana who moves from the Dominican Republic to New York City after she marries her husband (who is more than twice her age). She is attempting to do what is best for her family by working to get them to America by saving as well as convincing her husband to help them move to America. The book takes place in 1965.
This a difficult but good read. Ana’s life is full of not getting to choose her own path because of her family and husband. There are also difficult themes such as domestic abuse and sexual assault. I won’t go into detail about them in my post, but I wanted to warn those who might want to know before reading this book.
Ana comes to the United States not knowing English and prohibited from leaving her apartment. She is trapped in a marriage she didn’t want, an apartment with no one else, and a city that she doesn’t know or understand. This book is about Ana taking back the power in her life. She finds small ways to subvert her husband’s power by learning English, making some money, and falling in love with someone else.
Ana may be young, but she is observant and smart as she unravels the way New York City works, how men treat women, and how she can attempt to pursue the life she wants for herself.
I think this book would be great to read with a buddy because I really enjoyed getting to discuss it in class. This book has a ton of details, so it’s nice to have someone else talk about what they’re seeing in the book. Having said that, this book isn’t just for studying. It’s a good book for just enjoying–although don’t read it hungry because the food descriptions are some of the best I’ve ever read.
Overall, this book is a great balance between adult and young adult fiction. I believe that it’s adult fiction based on the themes and the adult life that Ana is living, but it’s still very much a coming of age story, so maybe you’ll disagree with me? I’d love to discuss if you have read it or do read it in the future!
Have you read it yet? If so let me know in the comments!