Ana Ruiz has two teenagers with her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Their son Diego has been fairly accepting of the new circumstances, but daughter Carmen is another story. She’s always been daddy’s little girl and believes her mother is the sole cause of her parents’ problems. Since Carmen’s fifteenth birthday is approaching, Ana suggests holding a quinceañera as a way for them to bond. Of course, things don’t go exactly as Ana plans; her niece Bianca (who has parental problems of her own) is far more into the quinceañera and bonding experience than Carmen is. Ana struggles to keep her family together while also trying to find a life for herself without her husband.
I enjoyed the story quite a bit, especially the twist at the end regarding Ana’s husband. It was clear straightaway he’d been unfaithful and Ana just wasn’t saying because she didn’t want the children to think poorly of him, but the bombshell he drops was completely unexpected. The part I didn’t enjoy was the narrator. I felt this external narrator took me out of the story too much, especially with all the “how do you says” both in English and Spanish. Those drove me crazy!
And one last thing: Get out your Spanish dictionary! I took Spanish for two years, but apparently most of it has fallen out of my head. I spent quite a bit of time looking up words and phrases as I read Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz. I do believe one could understand what was going on without knowing any of the Spanish words, but I’m someone who has to know. I also looked up information about quinceañeras because I wanted to know more about the event that is at the center of this book; though again, you can get through with only the information given in the book.
Here are the other participating blogs. You can also read the guest post from Belinda Acosta.