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Kindle Caramelo PDF ☆ ¹ pandora ¹

Every year Ceyala Lala Reyes' family aunts uncles mothers fathers and Lala's six older brothers packs up three cars and in a wild ride drive from Chicago to the Little Grandfather and Awful Grandmother's house in Mexico City for the summer Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers and to understand her place on this side of the border and that Lala is a shrewd observer of family life But when she starts telling the Awful Grandmother's life story seeking clues to how she got to be so awful grandmother accuses Lala of exaggerating Soon a multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling lies and life Like the cherished rebozo or shawl that has been passed down through generations of Reyes women Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history family and love

10 thoughts on “Caramelo

  1. says:

    I never ever wanted this book to end It's like Cisneros wrote about my life and told it to make fun of it with me and then to appreciate it together This had our car trips back to Mexico from CA not Chicago Michoacan not Mexico City with all the food and candy involved I miss this memory now as an adultI really don't know if anyone that isn't Latino or knows about the Mexican experience will understand or get this but it is worth the laughs I loved her chronological timeline of Mexican history at the end of the book and her hilarious educational footnotes This is one of the best books on my culture I have read from the dramatic hateful love to the superstition I'd love to gush about Sandra Cisneros all day but I think you get it

  2. says:

    One of my top favorite books of all times And not because Latina discourse is The Thing right now; I think most people never really get past the first 50 pages including those academics who should know better because it's challenging and I believe helpfully marginalizing to the Anglophone reader The plot is circuitous anti teleological and thoroughly rasuache in the political sense of the term This could be the best Chicana novel defining the new Chicano experience a perspective refreshingly divergent from the old school Chicano machismo and looking instead toward a new identity a new narrative

  3. says:

    I enjoyed this Mexican American family story rather than I expected to so thanks to the 21st Century Literature group for selecting it for a group read Cisneros is a poet who is not as well known on this side of the AtlanticThose who like to understand every word of a novel will find this a frustrating reading experience if like me they have never been taught Spanish The text particularly the sections set in Mexico is liberally sprinkled with Spanish and Mexican dialect words and phrases and while many are translated or partially explained afterwards many are not For me this did not seriously affect my ability to follow the story or understand the nuances of the Mexican characters Another minor frustration is the number of sometimes lengthy footnotes which appear at the end of the chapters which means finding them is a little disruptive to the reading flow The book is largely about the nature of truth fiction and good lies particularly in the way they relate to the telling of family storiesIn the first part we meet the narrator Celaya known as Lala on her large family's annual summer drive from Chicago to Mexico City to visit her paternal grandparents The Awful Grandmother is in some ways the dominant character in this part of the book which is wonderfully described and often funny building to a dramatic confrontation on Acapulco between Lala's mother and grandmotherIn the second part an older Lala is still the narrator as she tells the family story starting with the grandmother's parents the last in a line of manufacturers of rebozos fine spun shawls of which the Caramelo is one of the most popular designs The grandmother's rebozo is one of her most treasured possessions Her story is essentially a tragic one and at times she interrupts Lala's version usually to demand something happierIn the final part the story moves to Lala's teenage years and follows their father's ultimately failed attempt to break away from the Chicago upholstery business he runs with his two brothers by buying a ramshackle house and starts his own business using money from the grandmother

  4. says:

    Although at times I got a little lost in the different threads involved in this story overall I loved reading about the Reyes family and their summer visits to the narrator's grandmother's house in Mexico City The Awful Grandmother she is called Why? Eventually in the middle part of the book we learn the answers to that uestion and I for one had much sympathy for her after that Slowly over the course of the entire book we see our narrator growing up learning who she is and who she wants to be all thanks to the family she sometimes wants so much to get away from There were many details in the book that I would not have understood as completely if I had read this before I spent eight years living in Mexico I actually feel a bit homesick right now I need to go watch an old black and white Pedro Infante movie or maybe dig up my stack of old Spanish language comic books that I bought from the guy in the local book bazaar Comic books that came out once a week back in the old days and that the Awful Grandmother herself used to read and save I need to explore this author's other titles

  5. says:

    “Like all chronic mitoteros a word that might mean something like a nosy person—delving into others’ business los Reyes invented a past reminding everyone that their ancestors had been accustomed to eating oysters with mother of pearl forks on porcelain plates brought over on the Manila galleons It was a pretty story and told with such fine attention to detail neighbors who knew better said nothing charmed by the rococo embroidery that came to be a Reyes talent”Cisneros has given us an epic in three parts Part one is easy to fall into The young girl Celaya’s impressions of her family particularly on their road trip from Chicago to Mexico to visit her father’s mother were both uniue and universalPart two is a bit challenging We get factual footnotes mixed with family history a history that sometimes molds itself to the needs of different family members In part three it all comes together as Celaya begins to grow up discovering truths about life and her family along the way I found this part very insightful “Father says the army will do Toto good make a man out of him and all that shit But what’s available to make a woman a woman?”“Listen sweets it’s simple You’re the author of the telenovela of your life You want a comedy or a tragedy? If the episode’s a tearjerker you can hang yourself or hang in there Choose”Are the family stories truth or fiction? Does it matter? Life is hard It’s harder in some places than others for some people than others but none of us comes through unscathed When times are hard it helps to remember our history—to wrap ourselves in it the way members of the Reyes family wrap themselves in the Awful Grandmother’s intricately crafted shawl her caramelo rebozoI know from my own experience how comforting these family stories are I also know that once a family member is gone their stories matter than the truth of their lives That’s just a fact

  6. says:

    Through the main storyteller Celaya Cisneros has created an epic Chicana novel that deals with issues of laguage class race gender family and being on the border of two cultures She also brings into consideration the issue of truth telling versus story telling Are they mutually exclusive? If the story is a lie should it matter? These issues only make the story thought provoking My favorite aspect of the book is that it deals with the formation of the young female identity How before my body wasn't my body I didn't have a body I was a being as close to a spirit as a spirit I was a ball of light floating across the planet I mean the me I was before puberty that red Rio Bravo you have to carry yourself over I don't know how it is with boys I've never been a boy But girls somewhere between the ages of say eight and puberty girls forget they have bodies It's the time she has trouble keeping herself clean socks always drooping knees pocked and bloody hair crooked as a broom She doesn't look in mirrors She isn't aware of being watched There isn't the sense of the female body's volatility its rude weight the nuisance of dragging it about There isn't the world to bully you with it bludgeon you condemn you to a life sentence of fear It's the time when you look at a young girl and notice she is her ugliest but at the same time at her happiest She is a being as close to a spirit as a spirit 433 34Although the hybrid SpanishEnglish language Cisneros uses is alienating to her Anglo readers as it is intended to be everyone can relate to the humanness of this story its depth and breadth its messyness and its triumphant moments

  7. says:

    This book was definitely worthwhile but Cisneros seems to have been a bit overwhelmed by the task of composing an entire novel She has many many gorgeous lines strewn about the book tied to swift dialogue and gripping mini stories interrupted by simply cute moments but the plot and her point are rather blurry if not craggy She seems to be able to create enough momentum for a certain scene but she doesn't give much reason for what all the scenes have in common And while it is an obvious tribute to her own coming of age in a fascinating family the end is unbearably schmaltzy especially the last line It is disjointed and directionless in all the ways The House on Mango Street is not Since I absolutely loved said novella and Woman Hollering Creek I can't help but wonder if her greatest talent lies in shortstories

  8. says:

    A significant feature in Sandra Cisneros's novels is the colourful language the unforgettable characters and the uniue settings Her stories are narratives about strong women the ones who struggle their whole lives to make the people they love happyIn this book we find the protagoniast 'Lala' Reyes and her family crossing the border between their homes in USA to Mexico where Little grandfather and Awful grandmother wait for themDuring those summers we see the relationship between the children and the adults the tales the latter told the little ones when they ask uestions about their family history When Lala tries to understand the story of Awful grandmother she enters into the land of unbelievable stories unreliable fantasies sophisticated lies and intriguing livesA multigenerational narrative that makes the reader uestion their own past and how the identity of their family and at the same time their own shelves was created

  9. says:

    I really loved this book and I was completely surprised that I did When I'm handed a book and the summary from the person giving it to me is prefaced by well it's really slow at first let's just say I don't have high expectations I can be a lazy reader but this book was completely worth the investment I happened to read it on a uiet weekend and I think that's exactly what you need A few hours to delve into it and I was hooked Cisneros' writing is vivid and spare but never pretentious or obvious I really liked the short chapters that didn't necessarily flow chronologically It made me pay attention and get my bearings at the beginning of each little story and then sink into the vignettes that so happened to all connect together All I can say is give yourself a vacation or a rainy day to start this book and you won't be disappointed I've really never read anything like it

  10. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It took me a long time to read it because I would get through a chapter all chapters are very short and have to reminisce about my own personal experiences Cisneros brings to the forefront issues that many Latinas face Annoyance of metiche family members and crazy tales they tell but also a deep love for family She sprinkled in Spanish words I hadn’t heard in years that I grew up with but I just don’t hear in Austin I did realize I am a Texicanha ha I’m not uite Mexican but I’m not really a full American either and I mean culture wise not citizenlegality wise This is just about the only book I have read that really hit home to my own experiences to my life If you enjoyed this book I would recommend “How to be a Chicana Role Model” and “Chicana Falsa” by Michele Serros