eBook - 2013
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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.

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group


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Nov 12, 2016

Interesting insight into Mexican American family life, but the writing is ordinary and the story is too long.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 12, 2015

When Lala and three carloads of her family caravan from Chicago to Mexico City, they step back into the robust cultural heritage she instinctively loves. Cisneros paints a remarkably detailed portrait of two evolving cultures interwoven like the unfinished striped shawl for which the novel is named.

May 04, 2012

I found this book difficult to follow after she begins writing the past history of the family. The book starts in a very engaging manner and then goes back in time. While this device is often used by authors, I found that it over complicated the story line considerably. I am sure this book speaks best to those who are bilingual as the diverging verses and words in Spanish threw me. I just could not keep up with the translations and at times, there were none.

I feel this is a niche book and that niche is very small. Too bad; I would have liked a real entry into this author's mind.

allonsy Jul 25, 2011

Reading this was like getting empandas and ginger pigs and drinking abuelita chocolate on a Sunday morning. Besides writing a wonderful mulit-generational story, Sandra Cisneros perfectly captures the feeling of what it's like to grow up Mexican-American. I have so many memories about places, foods and activities she describes- it was like going home. This is definitely a new favorite!

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