Welcome to another edition of Plaza Familia online book club, where in the month of June we are reading and discussing The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, written by Junot Diaz and the children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. If you are not familiar with the dynamics of the club, I suggest you click here to read the rules and get a better idea of what it’s about.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao surprises me because the book certainly is narrated in chapters and each is located in a specific space and time in history, but Diaz does not present them chronologically, so as we read, we find ourselves in the past, in the present, in the United States or the Dominican Republic and I think that makes the story very interesting, because you never know where next chapter is going to take you.
Another thing that I love about Diaz’s novel is that it offers different views and that the story is being been told by different people. Sometimes it is easy to conclude who is narrating it, as in Chapter 5, where we meet Lola’s boyfriend, Yunior as school roommate Oscar and who reveals his identity half of the story.
I found Chapter 5 to be very intense, because that is where Oscar deals with the indifference to such a deep level that leads him to attempt suicide, and this is where the aspect of tragedy that haunts the family is makes an appearance.
I really enjoyed reading and although I know that being bilingual has helped me a lot, I think anyone would enjoy this novel full of universal elements and yet so specific to the Dominican-American culture.
Did you The Very Hungry Caterpillar?, I’ve been totally obsessed with Eric Carle’s work and I love it. Doing a little research I read that the book was inspired by a hole punch and was originally going to be titled “A Week with Willi the worm, ” but Carle’s editor suggested to change it to The Very Hungry Catepillar. I tell you this because it made me think of two things: First, how such a common object in any office as a hole punch can transform a book and second, how the opinion of the right people can help us succeed. Do you agree with me?
Read you later!
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