Dominicana: A Novel

Written by:
Angie Cruz
Narrated by:
Coral Peña

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2019
10 hours 13 minutes

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.

Named a Most Anticipated Book by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, O Magazine, Time, Real Simple, Chicago Review of Books, Kirkus Reviews, Nylon, BuzzFeed, Lit Hub, The Millions, Instyle, Bustle, Refinery29, Hello Giggles, AARP, Domino

'Coral Pena's strong delivery is a breath of fresh air...a master of accents and emotion, bringing genuine pathos to the story.' — AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.

As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.

In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.

Praise for Dominicana:

“Through a novel with so much depth, beauty, and grace, we, like Ana, are forever changed.” —Jacqueline Woodson, Vanity Fair

“Gorgeous writing, gorgeous story.” —Sandra Cisneros
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Linda M.

A local book club assigned this for discussion, and I didn't know what to expect from it but I was very pleasantly surprised. The story is about a Dominican girl, first in the Dominican Republic, and then with her husband in New York City. Unusually for me, I became very involved with the main character, and those around her. The story is well constructed and well written. Some of the main topics include: family pressure to move to NYCity and to marry at a very young age, the lack of choice for a young girl brought up in the environment/family that she was born into, more pressure to provide for the family back home once in the U.S., domestic abuse and whom to trust in a foreign place and lastly, how to go forward. A small criticism is that sometimes parts of the story sounded like a light romance novel but overall this is a mature book, written by someone who knows the pain of leaving one's own country, especially at the behest of one's own family. I thought that the narrator was spot-on. Excellent.

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