Thursday, May 24, 2018

Flowers in the Sky

Lynn Joseph has the market cornered on coming of age books about Dominican girls. I love all her novels and was eager to read Flowers in the Sky, the only one I hadn't been able to track down. Hooray for interlibrary loans!

Flowers features all the hallmarks of a Joseph novel: an innocent Dominican heroine, family drama that reveals itself throughout the book, and gorgeous descriptions of the lush Caribbean nature. In this case, we have Nina Perez, whose mother sends her to New York City to live with her older brother. While her mother hopes she will marry a baseball player and become rich, Nina just wants to garden and live happily back at home. Over the course of the novel, Nina becomes more worldly and discovers what she really wants.

This book was a bit fluffier than Joseph's other novels, which both had political and historical elements. Flowers is a simple love story. Nina is extremely naive and, at times, it could be irritating that she couldn't figure out what was going on. I'd have to remind myself that Nina had never seen an elevator before moving to the US, so she should be forgiven her innocence. I don't think that younger readers will notice it, though. I'll recommend this to students who enjoy Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han novels.

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