Hernández recounts childhood, coming-of-age, coming out, and coming to terms with her family. Like other child-of-immigrants stories, this one is about a child set up to leave her family behind.
The story is poetic and nonlinear (but not in a bad way, for those of you who understand that I'm not crazy about experimental writing. I'm not saying this is experimental, either.) It's short and reads like a series of connected essays.
I appreciate Hernández's ability to step outside of herself and be patient with her wants, and understand them. Here's a passage about trying to learn about santería.
It's like dealing with someone's heart. You can't just knock at hte door. You can't show up and say,"I want to live here." You have to prove yourself. You have to stick around. You have to wait until the other person is ready.
And in the end, you realize that it was you who had to wait. It was your own heart you couldn't barge into.
If like me, you find overspending and debt hard to read about, skip chapter three: Only Ricos Have Credit. At least she's self aware about it.
I don't know that what I am trying to say is this: "I'm buying [the $4.99] lipstick to make myself feel better about the class, racial, and sexual oppressions of our lives. The 99-cent lipstick ain't gonna cut it."
In the next chapter she writes about dropping her father off at unemployment with the form she filled out for him...on her way to a college microeconomics class.
Bonus for those who read the acknowledgments, or in Hernández's case the Agradecmientos, she thanks "Zami, because every writer should thank her cat." I love that she thanks her cat, but even more that she named her Zami. ♥
Recommended to: my homie C-Dog because of the Cuban-American dad sounds a little like Bruno.