(From the publisher):
In this novel, we follow a Puerto Rican girl's quest to negotiate her own terms of survival within the confines of her culture. Coming of age in the 1950s, 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 being torn assunder—much like the island itself. Her father believes the future lies in American technology, including the new autopista
that will soon cut the island in two. But Consuelo has heard her abuelo
say that once foreign noise drowns out the song of the coqui
, the island's emblematic tree frog, the voices of puertorriquenos
themselves will be silenced.
Meanwhile, Consuelo confronts her own transformation. For something is not right in this Puerto Rican family; a tragedia is developing like a tumor at its core. It is Consuelo who first notices her younger sister Mili's vivaciousness turn into mysterious bouts of hysteria, her playful, invented language shift into an incomprehensible and chilling "language of birds." Ultimately it is Consuelo who must choose: Will she fulfill the expectations of her family, offering consolation as their tragedy unfolds? Or will she, like Maria Sereno, risk becoming la fulana, the outsider, in her journey toward a definition of herself as a Puerto Rican woman different from her mother and her grandmother?
Original title: The Meaning of Consuelo
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Ethnic And Multicultural→ Latino
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Youth (rebellion, Angst, Coming Of Age)