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Författare till Neruda on the Park

1+ verk 121 medlemmar 5 recensioner

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Neruda on the Park (2022) 121 exemplar, 5 recensioner

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This novel of the impact of gentrification, set in the Dominican community of Upper Manhattan, is the family saga of a daughter brought low, and then through, the trauma of her mother's instability. Luz, a purposeful corporate lawyer, is the pride of her close-knit neighborhood and of her mother Eusebia, queen of the local women (the "Tongues") and her father Vladimir, a weary police detective who is ready for retirement to a home he and Luz have secretly built in the DR as a surprise for Eusebia. But they all underestimate her passionate love for Nothar Park and its families, and when she hatches a deceptive and criminal plot to stop the ruination of their enclave, Luz and Vladimir remain ignorant of Eusebia's mental instability due to distractions of their own. Luz meets and falls in love with Hudson, the son of the primary developer, who turns out to have ideas about creating an impenetrable indoor environment to circumvent the inevitable destruction from global warming. The lives of the Guerrero family and their neighbors, and their mutual appreciation society, make this a gratifying and warm look at how cohesiveness can overcome hopelessness.… (mer)
froxgirl | 4 andra recensioner | Feb 19, 2024 |
Neruda on the Park looks at the effects of gentrification and the efforts to combat it. The Guerreros live in Nothar Park, a New York City neighborhood with many immigrants from the Dominican Republic. There’s a strong sense of community that unites people, but people are now being displaced as new, expensive luxury condos are being built across the street.

Luz Guerrero is on the fast track to success working at a high-powered law firm when she is fired for no apparent reason. Determined to get back on the fast track, she sets about a job search but is soon distracted by the handsome, charming developer she is falling in love with. Her mother is obsessed with the new condo development being built by that same developer and comes up with a scheme to fight it. Her partners in crime are a group of older women called The Tongues because they are such malicious gossips. Her father is more focused on building a retirement home back in D.R. as a surprise for his wife.

Neruda on the Park is an excellent story with enduring characters that you cannot help but fall a bit in love with. The issue of gentrification is a salient one. What city doesn’t have neighborhoods being broken up and communities disrupted by gentrification and the rising prices that drive people out and disperse them far away from each other and the ties that made them a community?

I liked Luz and her parents, even her mother who became single-minded and went overboard in the battle against the condos. She came close to destroying the community in order to save it, but unlike the U.S. in Vietnam, she had more heart than that. There’s a lot of heart in this novel as well as plenty of humor, to leaven the more serious themes.

I received an e-galley of Neruda on the Park from the publisher through NetGalley.

Neruda on the Park at Ballantine Books | Penguin Random House
Cleyvis Natera

… (mer)
Tonstant.Weader | 4 andra recensioner | Jul 4, 2022 |
What an engrossing, all encompassing story of strength of character, loyalty to home and love of those who build us into who we are. Natera tells the story of saving a neighborhood through the lives of a family broken, and with it so many lessons. The characters are interesting and the plot varied and entertaining while also getting to the heart of the matter. I finished this one quickly as I had to see just what would happen next.
*I received an arc from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review… (mer)
KimMcReads | 4 andra recensioner | Jun 20, 2022 |
Thanks to Ballantine Books & NetGalley for a digital advance reader's copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

This is a book about which I’m having trouble explaining my feelings. From the publisher’s summary I thought I’d like it more than I did, so it’s only a 3 star for me. This was about a Dominican family in a fictional New York Dominican Republic neighborhood. The parents have sacrificed so their 20-something Harvard-educated daughter can have a law career and as the story opens, she seems to have become an “American” success story. The novel is primarily told from two points of view, the daughter, Luz, and her mother, Eusebia. I didn’t connect with these characters since neither was sympathetic or particularly likable, mostly because their behavior was inconsistent and unpredictable. Especially when the mother, Eusebia, exhibits elements of magic realism (or mental health issues) which created a tension that made me uncomfortable.

The main conflict of this debut novel is when a new high rise development is being built in the neighborhood. Will the current residents be kicked out of their apartments? Will Eusebia’s dangerous plans to halt the construction be successful? How will Luz’s new romance with the wealthy developer affect her family and her future?

The best parts of the novel for me were the food and music descriptions and the authentic supporting characters: Vladimir, Angelica, and Christian.

While I felt like I could tell where the author wanted to take the reader with her themes of family, gentrification, female independence, immigration, and race, the writing was often clunky and sermonizing. When characters gave opinions on women’s appearance and plastic surgery, about women’s achievements in a man’s world, etc., I felt like I was reading the author’s message, not what the characters felt or thought. For instance: “The whole world wants women to conform to impossible standards, and then when we try, they blame us for not being confident enough to love ourselves the way we are. We can’t ever win.”

The following quote from the author, who added this in her “Acknowledgments” at the novel’s conclusion, beautifully summarizes what she tried to achieve with Neruda on the Park: "Here’s wishing every reader who has ever been transplanted, made to feel unwelcome, who faces hostility at home or beyond, embraces my abuelita’s words: “Let us grow rooted in the love of all our homes, let us rejoice in our strength and never shy away from it, let our stories change the world with the power and beauty of our imagination.”
… (mer)
PhyllisReads | 4 andra recensioner | May 31, 2022 |


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