Read In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez Online

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The Barnes & Noble Review - La Musa de la Patria In recent years, novelists Mona Simpson (Anywhere But Here), Karla Kuban (Marchlands) and Susannah Moore (My Old Sweetheart), among numerous others, have memorably explored the mother-daughter relationship, showing us the conflicted, often painful intersections of the lives of their multigenerational characters. But inThe Barnes & Noble Review - La Musa de la Patria In recent years, novelists Mona Simpson (Anywhere But Here), Karla Kuban (Marchlands) and Susannah Moore (My Old Sweetheart), among numerous others, have memorably explored the mother-daughter relationship, showing us the conflicted, often painful intersections of the lives of their multigenerational characters. But in Julia Alvarez's new novel, In the Name of Salome, the mother, Dominican poet and political muse Salomé Ureña, only lives long enough to hear her three-year-old daughter Camila recite one of her consumptive mother's poems. What we get, then, is a compelling work of fiction based on remarkably tireless research and shaped by Camila's reach into the past, into her mother's history and her mother's place in history, in order to make sense of the choices she has made about her own. A masterful manipulator of time, Alvarez alternates points of view, shuttling us not only back and forth between Salomé and Camila, but also moving us forward in Salome's life as she moves us backward in Camila's. Salomé writes in secret as a child, publishes briefly under a pseudonym and soon emerges as herself, a figure of inspiration for a nation. But all the while she longs for that other kind of passion, the one her family and her readers would like to believe she is above: the passionate love of a man. Sadly, though she finds that love in Papancho, he is never fully hers. He belongs in turn to his country, to his studies, and inevitably to another woman. How Salomé withstands losing this managain andagain has to do with what we all withstand — wisely and unwisely — in the name of love. Camila writes poetry only as a mature woman. As a child her life is shaped by the political values that shape Papancho's life. Those values find only cautious expression in the U.S. where she studies at the University of Minnesota and later becomes a professor at Vassar. But in Cuba, where she spends the last 13 years of her life, she fulfills the dream of both her mother and father as a vital and dedicated participant in Fidel Castro's "revolutionary experiment." Through skillful mechanics Alvarez makes characters of time itself and the history that marks it. And what troubling history it is, spanning over 100 years (1856-1973) in the life of the Dominican Republic, where the government changes hands with as much frequency as a señorita changes her linens, and "Depending on the president, the pantheon of heroes changes, one regime's villain is the next one's hero, until the word hero, like the word patria, begins to mean nothing.". But if history renders language meaningless, what is left? Only the struggle to make meaning, and only love makes that struggle real and worthwhile; on this matter mother and daughter agree. So this is also a love story, in which Salomé discovers that she will give up everything — her writing, her social activism, finally her health — for the man she loves, and Camilla discovers that she will sacrifice her secure teaching position in the U.S., the approval of family, friends and erstwhile lovers for the very thing her mother's passionate poetry taught her: love for the land and the people who give life to it. Alvarez's skillful prose styling distinguishes the two women not only through the details of their lives but also through their meticulously wrought voices. Moreover, just as interesting as what distinguishes them from one another is what unites them: the pull of public life on their private lives and the challenges presented by the conventions that govern their lives as women. And they and we thrill equally to the ultimate discovery we're all reaching for, "that hushed and holy moment...when the word becomes flesh." In a book rich in extended metaphor, where poetry and idealism play a huge role, we are never encumbered with abstraction. This is a writer going at full tilt: wry, wise, ironic, forgiving. She, like both the women of this novel, is an educator, though neither didactic nor condescending. Even though we know from the beginning the details about the end of both mother's and daughter's lives, Alvarez manages to sustain an air of suspense throughout, the point being not what happens, but how it comes about, and at what cost. Susan Thames is the author of a book of short stories, AS MUCH AS I KNOW. Her novel I'll Be Home Late Tonight was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection....

Title : In the Name of Salome
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780452282438
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In the Name of Salome Reviews

  • Cheryl
    2018-11-20 17:41

    Everything of ours--from lives to literature--has always been so disposable, she thinks. It is as if a little stopper that has contained years of bitterness inside her has been pulled out. She smells her anger--it has a metallic smell mixed in with earth, a rusting plow driven into the ground. Around 1844, the Dominican Independence War gave the Dominican Republic freedom from Haiti. Years later, the Dominican President would turn the country over to Spanish rule. Disorder was inevitable. A revolution to save la patria ensued. This forms the backdrop for this book of historical fiction about family; how each generation is affected by the choices and lives of the ones before it.Just as song unchains the soul, so does poetry. Poetry is song. Verse is liberation. Tears are the ink of the poet.At the center of it all, is the young poet, Salomé.It was time for poetry, even if it was not the time for liberty. Sometimes I wondered if this didn't make sense after all. The spirit needed to soar when the body was in chains.Imagine poetry as the voice of liberty. Salomé Ureña was a pioneer of poetry in the Dominican Republic during the 1870s. At a time when women were not trained to read or write, she was publishing poems at age seventeen, and later, she would open the first center of higher education for young women in the Dominican Republic. The fictional character in this book takes her bearings from this feminist hero. There is only one way to make it stop, a way which Papa has been trying to teach me, and that is to sit down and think of the words for it all, then write them up the verses my mother copies neatly into her letters to my father.Salomé's daughter, a college professor, pays homage to her mother's work and life through the present narration. But oh how I wish the young Salomé had been the narrator. How I wish the breaks and intersections of the narration had disappeared through Salomé's recount of Cuba's fight for independence, Santa Domingo's fight for liberty, the women's movement of that time, the fight against censorship…How I wish I had learned about these important time fractions through a more cohesive structure, minus the fragments of time, place and space. How I look forward to reading, In The Time Of Butterflies for a firmer grasp of that place and time.

  • Sue
    2018-12-03 09:46

    I love Julie Alvarez! She develops her characters so so well you want to know what happens to them and then don't want to story to end.review by Debbis Lee Wesselman: "This deeply imaginative portrait of the Dominican poet Salome Urena and her daughter Camila captures the people behind the revolutions in the Dominican Republic and Cuba without idealizing them, without relegating them to mouths spouting political dogma. As Salome says to her young husband when he chides her for writing a non-revolutionary poem, "I am a woman as well as a poet." This is exactly what Alvarez accomplishes: an adept melding of the public and private sides of her characters to give her book real heart.This novel spans over a hundred years, from the 1850's (the beginning of Salome's story) to the 1970's (the end of Camila's story.) Because the two stories are interspersed and are not told chronologically, the time and place can sometimes be confusing despite the chapter headings meant to give the reader his bearings. Don't let this frustrate you; the story is well worth this flaw. My advice is just to give yourself up to Alvarez's skill and let her take you where she wants."

  • Loyola University Chicago Libraries
    2018-12-02 11:22

    This is an extraordinary book. The fictional account of a real family from the Dominican Republic, the book follows the lives of both famed poet Salome Urena de Henriquez and her daughter, Camila. I particularly loved its structure; the chapters alternate between Salome and Camila's point of view, and while Salome's story starts at the beginning of her life and progresses toward the end, Camila's proceeds backwards. Salome dies when Camila is very young, yet the two women have a profound effect on each other, so it only makes sense that book's structure leads them to each other, to the brief time that mother and daughter have to spend together. The political struggles of the Dominican Republic and Cuba play a large role here, but Alvarez wisely emphasizes the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters, particularly for the tongue-tied Camila who lives in her mother's verbally eloquent shadow. Very, very glad I read this.

  • Andrea Poulain
    2018-11-21 16:42

    https://las6delatarde.wordpress.com/2...Salomé Ureña fue poeta durante algunos de los años más importantes en Republica Domicana, cuando, después de independizarse de Haití, volvió a ser colonia de España un tiempo para tener protección. Todos sus hijos ocuparon grandes cargos o fueron grandes intelecturales, entre los cuales sorprendía Camila Salomé, la menor, que obtuvo un doctorado en Cuba, fue conferencista en América Latina, profesora en Vassar y terminó su carrera en la Universidad de La Habana y dando clases en su tierra natal. Nunca había oído hablar de ninguna de las dos. Por una serie de casualidades In the Name of Salomé fue el libro por el que acabé conociendo a Julia Alvarez. Su obra más reconocida es How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Cómo las chicas García perdieron sus acentos), justo el libro que leí inmediatamente después, también gracias a una serie de casualidades. En la biblioteca lo liberaron cuando yo estaba en lista de espera bastantes semanas antes de lo planeado y acabé leyéndolo, a pesar de ser uno de los libros menos reconocidos y aclamados de Julia Álvarez, sólo para descubrir que entre sus páginas se escondía la vida (ficcionalizada, por supuesto) de Salomé Ureña y su hija, Camila Salomé.El libro tiene una estructura curiosa pues une dos líneas temporales: la primera empieza cuando Camila Salomé abandona Estados Unidos para trasladarse a Cuba, lo más cerca que puede ir de su patria sin pisarla realmente porque juró no volver mientras Trujillo, el dictador, gobernara; la segunda, empieza justo con la independencia de Haití de la Republica Dominicana, cuando Salomé Ureña era apenas una niña. Desde ese momento, las dos historias van a correr hasta encontrarse, una hacia atrás, la de Camila, y otra hacia adelante, la de Salomé.Respecto a esta estructura, hay opiniones realmente encontradas, pues la mayoría prefiere la narración en primera persona de Salomé Ureña. Entiendo por qué, pues durante la primera parte del libro, son esas partes las que aportan más a la trama, pero, conforme la historia de Camila retrocede vamos entendiéndola un poco más y, al menos en mi caso, aprecié más toda su historia una vez que pude ver el resultado completo. Aun así, durante el principio sí que sentí un poco el tedio.Reconozco que no sé hasta qué punto la vida de Salomé y su hija fueron alteradas para propósitos de ficción, pero por lo que he investigado, la mayor parte, la esencia, se ha mantenido fiel. Me queda claro que no es lo mejor que puede ofrecer Julia Alvarez después de leer otro de sus libros, pero sí que es un libro interesante y, al menos para los interesados, muy bueno para aprender un poco sobre la cultura Dominicana. Hay una parte en especial con la que me identifiqué: una amiga de Camila le dice que lo siente, pero que en realidad nunca había oído de su madre, Salomé Ureña, como poetisa. Me recordó a mí misma, que nunca antes había oído ni siquiera su nombre y me hizo preguntarme cuántos otros nombres nunca he oído, cuántos no oiré nunca.Salomé Ureña fue importante en su país porque, además de sus poemas patrióticos, que publicó primero bajo seudónimo y luego con su propio nombre, fundó la primera escuela para mujeres de la República Dominicana, apoyada por su marido, Francisco Henríquez y Carvajal, que más tarde fue presidente del país. Su hija, Camila, no se quedó atrás: fue co fundadora de una de las principales asociaciones feministas culturales en Cuba y participó en la reestructuración de la Universidad de la Habana. No todo eso está mencionado en el libro, por supuesto, pues este no es una biografía, sino un libro de ficción, finalmente, pero sí es el libro que me ha abierto los ojos sobre estas dos mujeres impresionantes.

  • Bonnie
    2018-11-22 17:45

    Based on my daughter's handwriting on the note I was using as a bookmark, I first started this book when she was 4, nine years ago. It was a time where between children and work and the introduction of smart phones, I was starting to lose the ability to read books, and I didn't make it far in this one. With the passing of time and purposeful focus, I've relearned to read books and started this one over from the beginning. I can see why this one wasn't well-paired for me at that time. The skipping around in time across two women's lifetimes needs focus to keep track of the characters, the geopolitics and plot events. But with attention this go round, I really enjoyed the book. I liked how contemporary the voice is for both women even though many of the events take place more than 100 years ago. At core, it's a character-driven book of family connections in a specific geopolitical time, but it also touches on many issues - race, sex, sexual orientation, treatment of women, family, betrayal, forgiveness, coming of age, grief, aging. Really liked it.

  • Rivera Sun
    2018-11-26 09:28

    A pensive book, seen through the lens of a daughter who lost a famous mother at a young age. Having known a couple people like that (minus the famous part of the mother), I found the character true to reality, having that nebulous uncertain quality that seeks to entwine her identity with the ungraspable mother. Usually, I like stronger characters, bold and decisive ones. But, situated against a backdrop of revolutions with passion pouring out of everyone else's ears, the contrast of the character was subtle and beautiful.

  • Isabelle
    2018-11-24 14:46

    We have a five-star!In the Name of Salome is a novel that takes the reader through a journey of 100 years of Caribbean history – featured are real historical people and events so you get a good dose of history lessons. The book is told in 2 perspectives, opening with Camila Henriquez Ureña, age 60 in 1960 as she leaves her job teaching in Vassar College to travel to Cuba were young revolutionary Fidel Castro is urging people to come and join him. Camila is the daughter of famed poetess, Salome Ureña – the national poet of Dominican Republic. The second perspective is from Salome’s POV which is narrated in 1st person. Salome’s story is told in linear form from 1858 to the moment of her death. Camila’s story starts in 1960 and goes back in time so that both women met when Salome dies and Camila is born. That’s the technical aspect of this novel but it’s about so much more.There are 2 overarching themes in this novel – the first and the most impactful for me was the love of patria. Patria would be most easily translated to ‘love of country’ – relating it to the English word of ‘patriot / patriotism’. It’s that deep rooted love towards your country of birth, it calls to you through your life and the love for it is as passionate as the love for a significant other or a child. Both women are affected by it in different ways. Salome, who never leaves the island and whose poetry inspired a nation to seek freedom from oppression and create a just and free land and Camila who left Dominican Republic at age 3 and was raised in Cuba but still yearns for her country. The second theme is the love found in family – be is sisters, fathers, brothers, mothers, etc. We explore different relationships through the novel and Alvarez really zooms in on the connection of a daughter who never knew her mother and her life-long quest to feel close to her.Other themes done very well are racism and colorism within the Caribbean community along with feminism, religious themes and homosexuality.Needless to say, I fell in love with this novel and I think it’s because it resonated very deeply with me, it became personal. I grew up in the Caribbean and I wrote poetry about the love of my island as a child. The description of how the mind of a poet works was so relatable to me that I highlighted the crap out of this book.The two main characters are Salome, who is strong-willed, passionate, and spunky. She spends her life being the matriarch to a country in ruins, in her 40 years of life there are a total of 33 revolutions within in the island. Her father teaches her poetry, tells her to save her tears because the tears are a poet’s ink. We watch her grow up, we watch her fall in love with a man who disillusions her, we watch her relationship with her sister and her children and to her country. Then we have Camila who became motherless at the age of 3 and spends her life trying to grasp at the straws of her past while life as the daughter to an exiled president. Camila who questions her sexuality in a time where having feelings for a woman was considered the greatest taboo. Camila, who is painfully shy and is constantly living in the shadows of her other more successful family.It is an incredibly moving story and one I will highly recommend. This is my first piece by Alvarez and I cannot wait to explore the rest of her novels because if they’re anything like this or better I will have nothing but more good things to say.

  • Andrea
    2018-11-25 13:45

    I read this for a book club and didn't realize until the end that it was based on a true story. I think I would have been less annoyed by some of the storyline if I had known that up front. In the Name of Salome is written about a famous poet from the Dominican Republic and her daughter. My favorite thing about this book is its unique structure. The chapters alternate between the mother's story (told in the first person) and the daughter's story (told in the third person), but they also mirror each other from front to back both in timeline and chapter title. For example, the first chapter for the mother ("El ave y el nido") is about the mother when she is born, whereas the last chapter of the book "Bird and Nest" is about the daughter when she is born. The book progresses as the mother ages and as the daughter's story is told in reverse (starting when she is an elderly woman and working toward her birth). The chapter titles reveal this up front as the Spanish chapter titles for the mother's story are bookended by the English chapter titles for the daughter's story. This is more of a clue for people familiar with Spanish (most of the book club members didn't notice this), however the years are also listed at the beginning of each chapter so it's easy enough to catch the pattern after a few chapters. I thought it was a really compelling way to tell the stories and enjoyed the culmination as these two women "meet" at the end with the birth of the daughter. If I could rate based on structure, I would probably rate this a 4.5 and the format was really what captivated my interest throughout. Switching back and forth between stories (and moving forward and backward in time depending on whose story it is) can be a little disorienting. I found myself pausing with each new chapter to get my bearings and it took a few pages to really get into each chapter as my brain adjusted to the stories. Since the stories obviously overlap, the characters, places and events are mentioned from both perspectives which can make it difficult to keep everything straight but the challenge was fun for me. I had a short amount of time to read the book so I think it helped to read large portions of the book at once. Others mentioned that they had a hard time following the book which may have been partly due to reading small chunks here and there. I also enjoyed the use of Spanish language throughout. With a Spanish background is was not difficult at all to follow the very limited Spanish that was incorporated. Many of the Spanish words that were used were followed up with an English translation nearby (although if you aren't familiar with Spanish you don't necessary know that, as members of my book club noted). The use of Spanish helped set the context and gave a sense of familiarity or authenticity to the story. I almost wish there would have been more. The writing itself was quite beautiful. It held my interest and often surprised me with incredibly poetic and insightful descriptions and metaphors. Various styles were used (like a whole chapter that consisted of brief letters written back and forth between husband and wife that really engaged the emotions). You got what felt like an insider's look from the writing with phrases and vocabulary and cultural references that made it seem like you were listening to your grandmother telling about her youth. I really enjoyed the author's style of writing.The content itself was good, but there were some elements that I didn't like. Being based on a true story, it's hard to know if it was the author or the source material that influenced any particular theme. In the Acknowledgements the author admits that "all inventions, opinions, portrayals, errors in this book are my sole responsibility," but it's impossible to know which parts of the story fall into those categories. Not being familiar with really any of the actual history of the poet or the nation, I dislike the tension of not knowing what is true and what isn't and would have to error on the side of considering this to be a work of (mostly) fiction. Fiction or not, I was a little annoyed with the negativity toward the U.S. and North Americans that was referenced several times even though almost half of the story takes place in the U.S. There was also quite a bit of adultery and illicit relationships including a homosexual relationship between the daughter and her best friend that never really goes anywhere (both have relationships with men also), though I appreciated that the author was very tactful in her writing dealing with these themes and refrained from being graphic or explicit in any sense. I also disliked the secular catholicism represented in the book. The title is derived from an alteration of the sign of the cross that an aunt teaches the daughter in order to remember her mother: "In the name of the Father, Son and in the name of Salome." Its flippant creation and frequent use throughout the book without any hint as to the significance of such an alteration was grating. Although not Catholic, I disliked the overarching ethics of the family which were more focused on politics and "la patria" than anything. Religion, when referenced, was either a hinderance or merely a cultural norm to be adapted to their purposes. Even family took a backseat to political and cultural ambition. The dysfunctional family inflicts one wound after another on each other as they strive for what comes to seem as the entirely impossible dream of peace in their country. Indeed the concept of "patria" is never defined though it is the driving force (or nagging tie) of the characters. Everyone seems to be miserable as they pursue the elusive goal with various tactics and incredibly fleeting successes. Lastly, I struggled to keep up with the places and characters involved in much of the plot. The family itself had many members but political, religious and societal figures where also talked about frequently and it was hard for me to keep them straight, though it didn't seem super necessary to do so. My own ignorance of the relevant geography made it a little difficult to keep track of where the family was at any given time. Due to political exiles and other reasons the family member spent time in at least France, the U.S., the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Argentina, Mexico which were sometimes referenced by the cities in which someone lived which were sometimes unfamiliar to me. This was an interesting story, creatively told. I appreciated learning about the history of the Dominican Republic (which is the main goal of the book club for which I read it - to enjoy "traveling" through reading) and I really loved the structure of the book, the writing, and the Spanish language that was incorporated here and there. The characters, though, did not impress me. They seemed misguided and mostly unhappy, constantly searching and striving for something that would not bring them real peace or joy (and wrecking relationships with each other along the way). True meaning/purpose/significance were not found, at least from how they characters are portrayed and it seemed like the "legacy" of the mother and her poetry is all but forgotten. It ultimately made me sad for them - that they spend their lives chasing something that left them empty in the end.

  • Michelle
    2018-12-03 16:25

    Once again the book club selection this month took me to a place that I know very little about, the Dominican Republic. This is a historical fiction novel based on real people, with literary liberties taken by Ms. Alvarez for a bit of interest.The story follows Salome Urena, the national poet of DR during its early days of independence from Spain, and her only daughter, Salome Camila. The book begins with Camila in her sixties, retiring from her teaching position at a university and trying to figure out what to do with her life. She looks to her mother's poems, who died when she was only three years old, for clues. Her story line continues to go backwards, as far back as her earliest memories just before her mother's death. Salome's story starts from her earliest memories as a child and goes forward to her death.At first, this unusual time shift in the novel was unsettling and difficult for me to adjust to, but as the story continued and I got to know the women better, it made absolute sense and was in fact, quite touching when their stories met. I thought it was a wonderful and creative way to show how we are connected to our past, even as we move forward into our future.The characters themselves are interesting and I love that Ms. Alvarez is giving a female perspective to historical incidents, which tend to be dominated by male points of view. She highlights the women's great accomplishments and activism, things that could not have been easy, especially given the time and cultural norms, however, I felt like she portrayed them as rather weak and uncertain about themselves. Like they sort of stumbled upon history making and I suspect that there was a lot more intention and strength. Perhaps Ms. Alvarez wanted to showcase their humanity, their frailties, despite their accomplishments, which I can appreciate because its something we can all relate to.Overall, a really good read and one I would recommend.

  • Judith
    2018-11-26 13:34

    As much as I loved her other books, Julia Alvarez let me down a bit on this one. She writes historical fiction of Latin American culture, revolution and struggle. In The Time of the Butterflies was a fabulous example of seamless writing and fully fleshed out characters. In her book, In The Name of Salome, her characters are muddy and difficult to keep apart. There are so many different layers of struggles and switches back in forth in time, that it is difficult to keep separate who is who and when things are taking place...until much later in the novel. I wish I liked "In The Name of Salome" as much as her previous books, but alas, I can't say that I do.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-02 13:45

    This is an extraordinary book. The fictional account of a real family from the Dominican Republic, the book follows the lives of both famed poet Salome Urena de Henriquez and her daughter, Camila. I particularly loved its structure; the chapters alternate between Salome and Camila's point of view, and while Salome's story starts at the beginning of her life and progresses toward the end, Camila's proceeds backwards. Salome dies when Camila is very young, yet the two women have a profound effect on each other, so it only makes sense that book's structure leads them to each other, to the brief time that mother and daughter have to spend together. The political struggles of the Dominican Republic and Cuba play a large role here, but Alvarez wisely emphasizes the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters, particularly for the tongue-tied Camila who lives in her mother's verbally eloquent shadow. Very, very glad I read this.

  • Natalie
    2018-12-08 15:38

    In my opinion, this book was not as good as "In the Time of the Butterflies" "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" and "Yolanda". I loved all of those books. This one was still good, but I didn't enjoy it as much. It is based on the life of Salome Uren~a - a Dominican Poet who had a huge impact on her country. It was really interesting to learn about her, I hadn't heard of her before. The author, Julia Alvarez trades off each chapter, writing one in the voice of Salome (the mother), and the other with Camila (Salome's daughter). I liked the chapters more about Salome, I almost skipped the chapters written in Camila's voice, but I didn't. The book is also sort of depressing in some parts (then agan I'm pregnant right now and the littlest things make me cry, lol). So, the book is fine. I would just recommend the others I listed above before recommending this one to anyone.

  • Joleen
    2018-12-09 09:24

    This is my second favorite book from one of my favorite writers. I love the concept of how she presents the mother and the daughter and moving both forward and backward through their individual stories until they meet. Like the book of hers that utterly wowed me, "In the Time of the Butterflies," this book delves into history while keeping the characters fresh and vivid and realistic, and it deals with a difficult time in the Dominican Republic and strong women who stood up for what they believed in--all themes that can get me stirred up, haha. This is well done and enjoyable.

  • Anastasia
    2018-11-20 09:24

    The story itself was perfectly decent and all, the changing of the two narratives was...interesting, but the language was tedious. It took me close to a month to finish this book because the language was just too thick and boring. It may have had something to do with the smattering of random Spanish words throughout the book, I don't speak Spanish so it didn't work so well in my mind. Either way, this was a worthy story if not a good book.

  • Katie
    2018-12-05 12:31

    I wish I knew more of the actual history of the DR & Haiti. This is a historical fiction based on a real-life family. I had glimpses of what I could learn from the book, but didn't know enough to pick up on the measure of what happened. I had a hard time following the format - It alternates between chapters about one generation to chapters of another generation, one story goes forwards, the other goes back....

  • Marvin
    2018-12-05 14:37

    A novel based on the life of a real patriotic poet of the Dominican Republic & her family. It has an unusual structure, with chapters alternating between the first-person voice of the poet telling her story chronologically and that of her daughter telling her story in reverse. It started with a lot of promise, but didn't live up to its promise: too repetetive & too politically correct, perhaps.

  • Anna
    2018-12-01 14:32

    This is by far my least favorite book by Julia Alvarez, who is one of my favorite writers. The characters and plot were not very interesting and the writing seemed uninspired. Go read How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents instead!

  • Johanna
    2018-12-16 17:38

    Took me awhile to get into it. Salomes story kept me wanting more, but the back & Forth with Camilas story made it hard to push thru. It wasn't horrible, but something was missing. Not sure what.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-25 09:38

    Per me è stato un romanzo storico accattivante

  • Yeimi Alvarez
    2018-11-19 11:46

    This story is from the 1800 a story of a mother and her duagher. it takes place in thedominican republic a time of constant political upheaval. She wrote poetry as a teenager for the country that many people read. The poetry that she would write changed meny peoples lives and acttually motivated the men to fight for their country. The author also writes about the daughter and how they both made impact with each other.

  • Seyed
    2018-11-28 15:47

    This is not a review, but a wish item: that we (anywhere in part of the world,) had a few [wo]men of such caliber of the combination of intelligence+compassion+balls+will (no, one-in-a-many thousands, don't work: we need more)As far as the work itself is concerned, well, another Julia Alvarez work says it all.

  • David Jr.
    2018-12-11 12:46

    Interesting read. I got it based on reviews and my desire to read as much magical realism as possible. Well, this isn't magical realism but I am not giving it a low rating because of this. For me, it was hard to follow. The story starts from opposite ends of the story and then meets in the middle. It was not just a page turner for me. It was a nice story and I liked it but it just didn't flow.

  • Ann
    2018-12-01 17:41

    I found this book kind of tedious as it was told by two different people who hardly interacted. It also had several flashbacks so the story did not flow well. The story of the national poetess Solome Urena should have been its own story. The story of her daughter just muddied the story.

  • Miguel Jophiel Rivas
    2018-11-21 17:48

    Lo leí, me gustó, y no hay nada más que decir sobre él.Es un libro muy rosa que intenta representar a una de las mas grandes poetisas dominicanas de una manera muy débil.

  • Maria
    2018-12-02 09:36

    Well written account about a mother and daughter and their influence in the Dominican Republic and Cuba. I recommend it!

  • Brett Swanson
    2018-12-15 16:36

    The narrative style of this novel is pretty cool, and made the story that much more enjoyable to me. The book follows the lives of Salome, a famous poet in the Dominican Republic, and her daughter Camila. Only the stories aren't told together. Salome's story is told from the time she is six until her death, and Camila's begins when she is in her 50's and tells her story backwards until she is three. We skip back and forth between each woman's story with each new chapter, and we get a unique view of how their lives are so similar while at the same time different. Alvarez shows through these two women the hardships of fighting to make your country strong, as well as battling with inner turmoil and grief at the toll that fight is taking on your family and personal life and health. This was an enjoyable book that I'm glad I was given the opportunity to read.

  • Patrick
    2018-12-01 14:33

    In recent years, literary authors and publishing houses have published dozens of fictionalized accounts of historical figures, with Joyce Carol Oates' BLONDE (Marilyn Monroe) and Russell Banks' CLOUDSPLITTER (John Brown) being prime examples of this genre. Because I'm tiring of such fiction, I never would have bought IN THE NAME OF SALOME if I had known Alvarez had joined this literary trend - and I would have missed out on a fabulous book as a result. Yes, this may not be Alvarez's best work, but the literary standards and emotional impact are still higher than most novels published today. This deeply imaginative portrait of the Dominican poet Salome Urena and her daughter Camila captures the people behind the revolutions in the Dominican Republic and Cuba without idealizing them, without relegating them to mouths spouting political dogma. As Salome says to her young husband when he chides her for writing a non-revolutionary poem, "I am a woman as well as a poet." This is exactly what Alvarez accomplishes: an adept melding of the public and private sides of her characters to give her book real heart.This novel spans over a hundred years, from the 1850's (the beginning of Salome's story) to the 1970's (the end of Camila's story.) Because the two stories are interspersed and are not told chronologically, the time and place can sometimes be confusing despite the chapter headings meant to give the reader his bearings. Don't let this frustrate you; the story is well worth this flaw. My advice is just to give yourself up to Alvarez's skill and let her take you where she wants.I think most of Alvarez's fans will not be disappointed, and I believe she will gain a few more with this novel, perhaps enticing these newcomers to read her earlier work.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-18 16:46

    Like the only other book of hers that I've read, !Yo!, this book is constructed on an intriguing but semi-disorienting style where no two consecutive chapters are told in the same voice or by the same person. In !Yo! each chapter focused on a different member of a large family, and Alvarez switched between first person and third person tactics. Here, the chapters alternate ABABAB..., with A chapters telling the chronological story of the 'mother' from childhood through death, and the B chapters telling the reverse-chronological story of the 'daughter' from old age through youth. And furthermore, Alvarez writes some chapters in the voice of a peeved teenager or small babbling child. So, maybe a somewhat forced/hokey style, but the result is an interesting situation where you're gradually getting closer to the moment of mother-daughter merge where the daughter's birth and her mother's untimely death occur - from two different directions (the future and the past). Neat! And since the book is all about the daughter's search to live her own life while dealing with the reality of her mother's fame and strong persona, many neat parallels are apparent between the chapters.A really nice story based on the real facts of the lives of these two women. Squarely in the 'giant trans-continental Latin family' genre, with all the associated relations and heartbreaks and overlaps and dispersions. Really enjoyed reading this right after Allende's Portrait in Sepia. Isabel Allende is a much better known author, but she and Alvarez write on many of the same themes - womanhood, family, love, heartbreak, etc. etc. Love it!Definitely recommended if you like stories of family, strong female leads, historical fiction etc. Nice, cozy read.

  • Callie
    2018-12-09 17:26

    I'm finally done with this book! It didn't take that long to read, but it felt like forever, because I really want to give my attention to Called Out of Darkness. Randy told me to read this because he is teaching it, so Randy if you have some insights, I 'd love to hear them. Alternating between the stories of two women, a mother, national poet of the Dominican Republic, (that's the title I give her) and her daughter who never knew her mother except through legends, letters and her mother's poetry. Mom, Salome, died when daughter, Camila was 3. Salome's life was heartbreaking I thought, mainly because her husband was a cad and more in love with causes than he ever was with her. Camila's life was harder to pin down, mainly because the chapters about her life seemed like glimpses, tantalizing ones, but then you'd just get into her story and it would be back to Salome's story again. The other thing about Camila is the book starts at the end of her life and works backward, for Salome's life it is simply working from her childhood to her adulthood and finally her death. I don't know why I felt restless and unsatisfied through the whole book? Was I supposed to feel that way b/c that's how both Camila and her mother felt? Camila because she is in her mother's shadow, chasing it, trying to make her life feel as big and as earth-shaking as she imagines her mother's was? The truth is, that Salome was just as unsatisfied, she gave up her poetry to teach a school for girls and to raise her children and ultimately she never had the love she needed from her husband. Wow. The more I write about this, the more depressed I feel.

  • Susie Besecker
    2018-11-17 14:49

    The author has a good style and creates captivating characters. Was confused with all the Salomes and Papanchos however. Strong vocabulary, good struggle, historical fiction, interesting perspectives. Ending - a bit weak but not terrible.