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.
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by Sandra Cisneros
by Jane Hawking
by Sandra Dallas
by Hilary Mantel
by David Mitchell
by Jillian Cantor
by James Lee Burke
""Tell me a story, even if it's a lie." So begins Sandra Cisneros's delightful second novel. The Reyes clan piles into three cars to make a trip to the "other side" (Mexico City) to visit the Awful Grandmother and the Little Grandfather. Celaya (Lala) Reyes is the youthful observer of her family's vida loca. Cisneros has written a poetic, fictionalized family saga made memorable by a raucous collection of characters. They slip in and out of time, weaving truth and "healthy lies" into the family's history. The story overflows with music, food, fantasy, and fiesta. Narrating the tale herself, Cisneros is most successful in her interpretation of the young Lala. Her reading lends charm and authenticity to this witty gem of a novel. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine"
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