How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
by Julia Alvarez
reviewed by Megan Koehler
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez is a moving book about change. The book, beginning the 1960’s and ending in the 1970’s, tells the story of the Garcia family and their move to America. It shows the struggles of the four Garcia girls and their transition from being rich in the Dominican Republic to being poor immigrants in the United States.
The story begins the girls’ dad, Carlos, getting in trouble with the Dominican government after he tries to overthrow its dictator. He is forced to leave the country in order to keep himself and his family safe. However, he cannot leave his family behind, so with his wife and four daughters, Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia in tow, he moves the family to New York City. The girls have trouble adjusting to life in America, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents documents the troubles they have, starting with their first day of school in America to their first loves. Transitioning from being rich to poor was very hard for them, and they were surprised by the somewhat harsh way that Spanish-speaking immigrants were treated in the United States. The girls are unsure of their identity, and are stuck in the middle of being Dominican islanders or English-speaking Americans.
This book was a heart-warming but sad tale of what it was like to be an immigrant in America. I enjoyed this book; however, it was confusing at many parts because in each chapter the story changes and sometimes the chapters will not correlate to each other. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history or drama.