Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz by Belinda Acosta (Book Review)

Title: Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz: A Quinceañera Club Novel
Author: Belinda Acosta
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

First sentence: Ana was finishing her coffee when she saw the full-page ad in the morning paper:
Everything you need for the ultimate teen birthday party!

My synopsis: I have been having a hard time trying to figure out how to sum this story up - so sorry if it comes out sounding a little disjointed.

Ana is coping with her husband, Esteban's unfaithfulness and the fact that he has moved out. Her 14-year-old daughter, Carmen, blames her for making her dad leave, when in reality - he is the one who moved out. Ana is trying to protect her daughter and her son, Diego, from their father's affair. When she sees the above ad, she decides that Carmen needs a traditional quinceañera - not so much for the tradition - but because she thinks it will help her and Carmen become close again.

Beatriz, Ana's niece, jumps in to help with the planning - even designing the dresses that Carmen and the damas will wear. She is living with Ana and her kids as her own father is traveling for business and her mother is in a mental hospital - a fact that Beatriz is having to come to terms with on her own.

Ana's son seems to be the calm, rational one when he is really as torn up as Carmen about his dad's leaving but feels his mom needs their support - especially after he starts hearing rumors about what his dad has done.

So, as you can see, this is a multi-layered story with Beatriz and her mom; Ana and her daughter, Carmen; and Ana herself - and the decisions she needs to make about her future with or without Esteban.

My thoughts: To be honest, I almost gave up on this book in the beginning. It had some Spanish phrases in it and I wondered how much of the meaning I was losing. But after reading a review that said the you could get enough of the gist of the Spanish phrases without knowing Spanish and still understand the book, I kept going. I am glad that I did.

I really enjoyed Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz as it portrayed not just one strong woman - Ana, but a strong 'young' woman - Beatriz, and a girl becoming a woman - Carmen. I also have a daughter turning 15 in 2 1/2 weeks so can kind of see the emotions that Carmen was experiencing - and definitely get to see the drama! (a quinceañera is a celebration for a young woman when they turn 15)

Read Belinda Acosta's guest post or visit my post on the blog tour for Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz.

Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz
Publisher/Publication Date: Grand Central Publishing, Aug 11, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-446-54051-3
336 pages


Miriam Parker said...

I'm so glad you were rewarded by sticking with this one!!! :)

bermudaonion said...

It sounds like it was worth sticking with!

Kelly said...

Hmm...I'm sort of sorry I passed on it now. Great review!

Sheila Deeth said...

Thanks. Sounds like it's worth persevering with. I don't have daughters, but it's always interesting to learn how different life would be.


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