Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over (A Quinceañera Club Novel)

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( 49 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780446540520: Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over (A Quinceañera Club Novel)

Sometimes the family you've lost can lead you to the family you need...

When Beatriz Sánchez-Milligan turned her back on her troubled sister, she ushered in a lifetime of regret. So when the niece Beatriz never knew she had appears on her doorstep--announcing that her mother has died--she can't help but see fourteen-year-old Celeste as a chance to redo the past . . . despite her own family's objections.
But Celeste is skittish around her new family. She can feel the tension radiating from her uncle and cousins and, despite her aunt's enthusiasm, is hesitant to share her dreams of the traditional quinceañera she and her mother had been planning. Overwhelmed, Celeste does what her mom did years ago: she vanishes. Terrified the past is repeating itself, Beatriz scrambles to uncover the mystery surrounding her sister's life and death?and build a future in which the niece she dearly loves is truly part of her family.

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About the Author:

Belinda Acosta has written and published plays, short stories, and essays. As a journalist, her work has appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, The Austin Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, The San Antonio Current, and AlterNet. Her short story Tortilla Dough appeared in Saguaro, a publication of the University of Arizona in 1992. In 1993, she produced, directed and performed in a multi-media dance-theater performance of La Llorona. National exposure came in 1995 when she read her personal essay Gran Baile, on Latino USA - the Radio Journal of News and Culture, carried on National Public Radio. Acosta received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from The University of Texas in 1997. She lives in Austin, Texas and is the TV and media columnist for The Austin Chronicle.

Review:

"Looking for a novel that's sweet but not maudlin, layered but uncomplicated, and includes a good burst of flame now and then? Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over is one of those books, and it won't take long to read. That's because you won't want to put it down. Acosta has a way of getting inside her characters, so we come to know them like old friends and appreciate their emotions and thoughts. I loved how Acosta blended two cultures into one squabbling, scheming but loving family, and it was a treat to watch her plotline unfold with them." (Mlive.com)

" Emotionally profound, Acosta's joyous celebration of sisterhood, motherhood, friendship, and family is an insightful read." (Publishers Weekly)

"Es una historia bien contada, con momentos de enternecedora elocuencia, que promueve los valores tradicionales de la cultura latina."

"A well-told story, with moments of touching eloquence, that promotes the traditional values of Latino culture." (espanol.news.yahoo.com/)

"Acosta perceptively delves into the turmoil in which this family finds itself by examining it from multiple viewpoints.... Celeste's quinceañera becomes the glue that holds this family together as she discovers the loving support group she never knew she had." (Booklist)

"Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over is a harmoniously orchestrated vibrant celebration of family, particularly the biethnic, non-traditional families of today." (Examiner.com)

"Belinda Acosta's Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz delivers all its title promises and more: it's a book about damas of all ages, from teenage girls to the struggling mothers of those teenage girls; it's packed with drama so you don't want to stop reading; it's a novel that deeply and honestly tells the story of Ana Ruiz, her own coming of age as a woman and as a mother. Belinda Acosta is up to all of the challenges of such a rich panorama of characters and events. She's sassy, she's smart, she makes it look easy! But it takes a lot of hard work and a pile of talent to write such an engaging, touching book. A wonderful quinceañera of a novel!" (Julia Alvarez, author of Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA and Return to Sender on Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz Deborah Donovan)

"Lively and perceptive... Acosta empathically captures the innermost feelings of her characters." (Booklist on Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz)

"Simply put, Belinda !se aventó! She has gone all out in giving an emotional, spiritual, and feminine Latina perspective of how it is and what it is to grow up in the US Hispanic culture." (Examiner.com on Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz)

"Well written, effortlessly utilizing two languages, giving the unaware English reader a lesson in the Spanish language and Hispanic culture, Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz will prove to be "the first prick into the cloth to embroider something big and complicated" in a series of Quinceañera Club Novels. Big, yes! Complicated, only in the sense that cultures are intricate as humans are wondrous beings, as well as curious." (Examiner.com on Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz)

"[Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz] is a book that smartly and deftly explores questions of family relationships as well as cultural identity....Belinda [Acosta] seamlessly weaves Spanish and Spanglish into her prose, giving the novel a lively and authentic voice." (ShelfLife@Texas, The University of Texas)

"A consummate researcher, Acosta has attended her share of quinceanera expos, but she's also done a good amount of digging on the subject of the murders of the women of Juarez. The subject emerges with a quiet dignity not always assigned to the memories of those victims, and a voice that all too often goes unnoticed, ignored or silenced. Acosta is a prolific journalist, and her efforts have paid off very early on in her burgeoning career as a novelist." (San Antonio Express)

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