Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico - An emotion-filled, coming-of-age novel by Sarah McCoy

Coming of age is difficult in any culture. But for 11-year old Verdita, life in the slow-paced Puerto Rican mountain village where she grew up is deadly dull. As Puerto Rico struggled internally with independence and statehood issues, Verdita struggles with her own disappointments and heartaches. She dreams of excitement, glamour and absolutely anything American, but in the turbulent year of 1961, dreams could not always come true easily.

In Sarah McCoy’s debut novel, “The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico,” she takes her readers on a journey to the verdant tropical island where attitudes and conditions are as turbulent as the oceans that surround it. Through McCoy’s magical use of words you can almost feel the humidity, taste the sweet coconut milk and hear the call of the native birds.

Verdita’s story is fraught with the emotional ups and downs of a pre-teenaged girl. After accidentally witnessing her parents making love on the living room couch, Verdita is dismayed to learn her mother is pregnant. She fervently prays that the baby is not a boy who would take her father’s attention away, but she also doesn’t want a sister, who might be prettier than she is.

Verdita adores Elvis Presley, desperately wants her hair to be blond, experiences a romantic crush, and feels the thrill of disobeying her parents for the first time. Typical teenage rebellion, yet there lies a gentleness in Verdita that cherishes her family, wants to be a good girl, and loves her country. But there is something more out there that she wants, she just doesn’t know what it is yet.

Sarah McCoy delivers a brilliant coming-of-age novel that will appeal to both adults and young adult readers. Being part Puerto-Rican herself, McCoy drenched herself in the atmosphere and culture of her mother’s homeland, and the result is a rich, satisfying novel that is fascinating to read.

1 comment:

Sheila Deeth said...

Lovely review of what sounds like a really lovely novel. Thanks.