Ordinary Girls

Ordinary Girls

“There is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls than some lives hold in a lifetime.” —Julia Alvarez Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother batt...

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Title:Ordinary Girls
Author:Jaquira Díaz
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Edition Language:English

Ordinary Girls Reviews

  • Patti

    My review of "Ordinary Girls" by Jaquira Diaz

    A memoir that is an "in your face" memoir. Ms. Diaz pulls you in right from the very first page. She talks about "finding ourselves, even as we are losing the people we love, how we are not defined by the worst thing we've ever done". An extraordinary statement in the eyes of this reader.

    Her story is about survival, battling addictions, mental illness and deplorable situations of abuse and neglect at the hands of those who are

    My review of "Ordinary Girls" by Jaquira Diaz

    A memoir that is an "in your face" memoir. Ms. Diaz pulls you in right from the very first page. She talks about "finding ourselves, even as we are losing the people we love, how we are not defined by the worst thing we've ever done". An extraordinary statement in the eyes of this reader.

    Her story is about survival, battling addictions, mental illness and deplorable situations of abuse and neglect at the hands of those who are meant to protect her. Ms. Diaz is strong, willful, defiant, yet caring and compassionate. When she loves, she loves with every part of her being......her friends, "abeula", Alaina, Mami and Papi. Her love is fierce and unremitting.

    This is the memoir of all memoirs. Ms. Diaz tells us exactly as it is, as it should be and as it isn't. Comparable to none, Ms. Diaz is at the top of her league. Writing for all the "girls" and those who have no "voice", she is an undeniably, remakable, empowering woman. She is the "voice" for all those who dare not speak. Perhaps now they will........

  • Cheri

    4.5 Stars

    They spent her/>

    4.5 Stars

    They spent her early years in Puerto Rico, living in housing projects, until her father decided that they should move to Miami Beach when Diaz was still in elementary school. Looking for a better life, which the parents couldn’t seem to manage to find for the family. The father’s dreams for the family shattering little by little as the money went for other things, buying / selling drugs. At the same time, her mother’s mental health is deteriorating before her eyes. Secret messages brought to her through the television. The only real stability she has in her family is found in one of her grandmothers.

    Spending some time in a juvenile detention center, as well as Narcotics Anonymous, she left high school at 16, married at 17, and a year later enlisted in the Navy. She tells her complex and often heartbreaking stories in what feels like an effort to frame it for her own self, in a contained, controlled way, perhaps in order to more fully understand how her journey has made her the woman that she’s become. Likewise, as she’s had her own coming-of-age story, her own heartbreaking events that have scarred her, so her original home, Puerto Rico, has gone through changes, itself - its own fight for recognition and to be seen.

    Themes include depression, frustrations, violence, family relationships, drug abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault, equality, sexuality, and mental illness, although there is little in the way of graphic descriptions of any of the above. This is infused, as well, with light, love and absolution.

    Pub Date: 29 Oct 2019

    Many thanks for the ARC provided by Algonquin Books

  • Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog:

    'And the girls I ran with? Half of them I was secretly in love with. Street girls, who were escaping their own lives, trading the chaos of home for the chaos of the streets.'

    In Jaquira Díaz’s memoir, Ordinary Girls, readers dig into the influences that shape the life of a young juvenile delinquent. She is more than that, she is first a confused, lonely, little girl who lives with a mother whose mental illness is spiraling into a deeper, darker place. As she grows up,

    via my blog:

    'And the girls I ran with? Half of them I was secretly in love with. Street girls, who were escaping their own lives, trading the chaos of home for the chaos of the streets.'

    In Jaquira Díaz’s memoir, Ordinary Girls, readers dig into the influences that shape the life of a young juvenile delinquent. She is more than that, she is first a confused, lonely, little girl who lives with a mother whose mental illness is spiraling into a deeper, darker place. As she grows up, she escapes her broken home or the ‘chaos of home’ and takes it out on the streets, with her tough as nails approach. She finds a sisterhood of girls who have suffered as much, or worse, and makes them family of the heart. It is all about escapism, what else is there in poverty and abuse then reckless abandon? What else is there for them to do but get high, drunk, fight til they draw blood or find themselves knocked out?

    Living with a parent that suffers from schizophrenia is difficult even when you have extended family and friends, doctors willing to help, but imagine when the children are left to wonder at their mother’s strange paranoia, behaviors, rages? When a mother’s delusions are real to a child, and no one explains or fixes anything, what is to become of you? Worse, one who is a drug addict on top of it all. How can there be stability when the rest of the adults have fled? From her early childhood in Puerto Rico to their move to Miami, Florida- Jaquira is subject to very adult situations, and always leaving behind the love and support of her beloved abuela, the one person who loves and cares for her. At a young age the shock of what her father sells (drugs) makes no sense to her. Naturally with the people who come around, the children are exposed to the foulest of behavior. She doesn’t know any better about how poor they are, everyone seems to be just as bad off. The shock of violence in the streets is even more horrific, how can anyone maintain their innocence in such a place? Government housing projects full of shootings, stabbings, drug raids, and mouths full of stories that plant the seeds of terror in any child. You toughen up or you don’t make it out alive. You learn fast.

    Her parents destructive love, her mother is a woman who ‘obsessively, violently’ loves Jaquira’s Papi (father) who is nothing short of a womanizer, seems fated to ruin. Was it his disinterest in her mother, the crack or coke that caused her to hear voices, or was it this very love that destroyed her? Certainly it was a catalyst, and it made life for Díaz nothing short of hell. Can kids get used to mugs flying over their heads during their parents jealous rages, fights? Doesn’t it follow then that maybe her brother’s bullying and meanness might be born through it too? Like it or not, we learn from our families, and our environment. It’s hard to imagine a softer world if yours is loud, painful. It’s hard to serve kindness when all you have been served is bitter, spitting hatred while your belly and heart rumble for sustenance.

    Split between families she has one loving, accepting abuela and another grandmother, the white one, who made feel ashamed of her ethnicity, using her hair as a means to punish her for being ‘other than’. She made sure Jaquira knew she would never be as beautiful as her mother’s side. Strange to think there was more violence in that than all the ugliness she is submerged in, but that really cut me to read. This woman who should lift her grandchild up, make her proud of every cell of her body instead is the first to really make her feel that who she is supposed to be is shameful, low. It’s the same with fear, the adults are supposed to assuage a child’s deepest terrors, not become the monster.

    Then Mami begins to see a man, lurking, looming like a murder waiting to happen. Her terror hums inside of Jaquira, all she wants is her parents to be together again, for her to be safe and loved with her abuela but god or the universe doesn’t seem to listen to the cries of a child like her. Just like everything else not meant for children such as she and her siblings, wishes and prayers are ignored. Her father comes and goes, and they behave as if he had never left. “The five of us were the kind of poor you could feel in your bones, in your teeth, in your stomach.” You can only imagine such a poor, if it’s never been your reality.

    She is never happy nor in a stable environment for long, her mother steals her back and forces her madness on them- worse, Papi doesn’t seem to care, no one is ever coming to save them. It’s only a matter of time before she grows up, much too fast, and as a teenager becomes a hood rat. Then it was a desire for a violence she could never come back from, because she and her friends would never be ordinary girls who make their sadness seen through “sleeping pills and slit wrists”, if she is going to self-destruct it’s going to be a wild explosion! Beat downs, drugs, gangbangers, court dates, this is how someone will finally take notice, maybe her papi? This is how she lets her age out of it’s cage.

    Must Jaquira remain in this state and either end up imprisoned or one day as mad as her mother? Or worse, dead? This is a tale of sadness so dark and overflowing that it becomes rage. This isn’t who she wants to be, she isn’t going to accept this battered, beaten down version of a girl. She will have the last word in who she is! She will fight and make it out, but not without mourning for those who didn’t. Through writing this very book she is reaching those who need to hear that someone has been there, she is a voice in the dark shouting alongside you, someone who wants to see all the girls, who are anything but ordinary, crawl out of the ruins.

    A heavy, brutal journey.

    Publication Date: October 29, 2019

    Algonquin Books

  • Katie

    I could not put this memoir down. Jaquira Diaz has lived many lives and experienced more tragedy than most of us could fathom. What struck me most about her memoir was how it’s punctuated with the murder of children, particularly the case of Lá

    I could not put this memoir down. Jaquira Diaz has lived many lives and experienced more tragedy than most of us could fathom. What struck me most about her memoir was how it’s punctuated with the murder of children, particularly the case of Lázaro Figueroa whom she refers to as Baby Lollipops. There’s an underlying theme, particularly toward the end, of regret that her childhood wasn’t what she wanted and needed it to be, and something else I can’t quite define—Gratitude? Wonder? Guilt?—that she survived while others did not.

    Diaz’ life is full. It’s full of violence, drugs, sex, distrust, and loneliness. It’s also full of friendship and independence. These last two, I think, were necessary to break her out of the hopelessness caused by the rest. She needed parents who cared for her, and what she got was a mother addicted to various drugs and men, and a father who simply wasn’t present in her life. Neither of them protected her, so she learned to protect herself. This is most evident when she marries Chieto and later decides to join the Navy.

    This memoir actually covers vast territory in just 300 pages. It’s about Diaz, but it’s not

    about her. It’s about all the girls who have gone through (and are going through) the same things she did. It’s about Puerto Rico, the United States, and the history between the two.

    While I’m amazed that this is her debut book, there are a few things that were difficult for me to work through. The timeline is hard to follow. Sometimes she’ll say something happened when she was 11, but in the next paragraph she talks about being 15. She jumps back and forth, probably trying to organize her thoughts about current events as they relate to her past, but this left me feeling disoriented. Often it feels like a lot of these stories were written as essays and they miss the editing between them to stitch them into a book (I read at least twice that she was a B-cup and don’t know why that was relevant. Having your breasts grabbed without your consent is uncomfortable no matter what size you are). The last chapter “Returning” was really confusing for me. There’s a lot of political angst that comes out of nowhere that I felt could have been worked into its own book. The thoughts don’t form a coherent story, they just convey raw anger, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that, maybe she doesn’t know, either. The end felt so different from the rest of the book it just seemed out of place.

    It took a lot of courage for Diaz to write this and I hope that her words reach the people who need to hear them the most.

    See more of my reviews:

    //

  • Andrea

    I really enjoyed this memoir. Jaquira Díaz had an interesting life—first as a child in Puerto Rico and then as a teen in Miami. ORDINARY GIRLS is about relationships—mother/daughter, father/daughter, sister/sister and brother, and friends. These relationships have a lot to do with who Ms. Díaz eventually becomes. It was easy to empathize with the author when she described her life. I was impressed with how well connected she stayed with people and places from her past.

    My only issue w

    I really enjoyed this memoir. Jaquira Díaz had an interesting life—first as a child in Puerto Rico and then as a teen in Miami. ORDINARY GIRLS is about relationships—mother/daughter, father/daughter, sister/sister and brother, and friends. These relationships have a lot to do with who Ms. Díaz eventually becomes. It was easy to empathize with the author when she described her life. I was impressed with how well connected she stayed with people and places from her past.

    My only issue with the book was that sometimes the non-linear format confused me a little. I think the book works on the whole but it did throw me off a bit.

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

  • Linden

    When, as a child, Jaquira Diaz thinks, “There comes a time when we realize that our parents cannot protect us as much as we want them to, or need them to. There comes a time when we realize that we must save ourselves,” you know things are bad. Jaquira Diaz by her own admission was out of control. Her life was a never ending cycle of indifferent (or worse) parenting, street fights, abuse, drugs, arrests, alcohol, skipping school—all are detailed in this coming of age memoir. There are also frien

    When, as a child, Jaquira Diaz thinks, “There comes a time when we realize that our parents cannot protect us as much as we want them to, or need them to. There comes a time when we realize that we must save ourselves,” you know things are bad. Jaquira Diaz by her own admission was out of control. Her life was a never ending cycle of indifferent (or worse) parenting, street fights, abuse, drugs, arrests, alcohol, skipping school—all are detailed in this coming of age memoir. There are also friendships with her girls, which make things more bearable. She tells of joining the Navy and liking it, yet mentions in passing going AWOL, and finally deciding to go to college and study creative writing. She rejected numerous offers of help from counselors and teachers; as I read this extraordinary memoir, I was reminded that no one can make you do something until you decide to on your own.

  • Marialyce

    There are some people's lives that once you hear their story, you wonder how could it be that they survived. Their story is so harrowing, so filled with tragedy and a life that is tarnished, agonizing, and traumatic, that it's a wonder how they rose to face the next day. Is there the intervention of God, is there a will to survive, or is it simply that the dice were rolled and it was decided they would live?

    Jaquira Diaz for all intents and purposes had a hell of an upbringing, that i

    There are some people's lives that once you hear their story, you wonder how could it be that they survived. Their story is so harrowing, so filled with tragedy and a life that is tarnished, agonizing, and traumatic, that it's a wonder how they rose to face the next day. Is there the intervention of God, is there a will to survive, or is it simply that the dice were rolled and it was decided they would live?

    Jaquira Diaz for all intents and purposes had a hell of an upbringing, that is if you term it as an upbringing. Born in Puerto Rico, into poverty, her mother, eventually diagnosed as a schizophrenic, and an absentee father, made for a painful and terrifying childhood. They were poor, dirt poor, and so Jacqui became a kid from the streets.

    At the age where other young girls were playing with dolls, Jaquira ran with the wild crowd, and why not for there was no one who seemed to care what she did or where she went. She was tortured by her brother who at one point punched her so hard that she had auditory problems that would persist always. Her mother was for lack of a better word was insane, sometimes taking her medication, but often she was on the streets prostituting herself for a drink, a drug, a cigarette, searching for the acclaim she felt belonged to her. Her father was a womanizer, who couldn't seem to be bothered to try and care for his children as he should. The one member of Jaquira's family who seemed to "give a dam" was her grandmother but even that care was fleeting and lacking.

    Even when the family moved to Miami, Jaquira's life was in turmoil as she bounced from a place with her mentally ill mother, to her father who seemed to drift in and out of her life like a breeze blowing through, not seeming to care about the fate of his daughter. She would wind up in flop houses, on the beach or in a jail cell. She was to all a lost cause, a piece of dirt rolling though life, and one that eventually would be swept away.

    Jaquira was wild, the drinking, the drugs, the sex, the quest for the next thrill, the next dare, the next time she would land in jail seemed to be her fate. This life was one we read about in the news. Her destiny seemed to be death at a young age, and a life ever so wasted. She was tormented by so many devils, never seeming to be able to climb above as the streets kept her pulled into the gutter and guaranteeing a young demise. How could she turn this all around and become an author? She was a child who at best attended school randomly, a throw away kid, not worth the time or even the effort to try and straighten out. Yet there were some who tried over the years that Jacqui ran on the side of danger and mayhem. There were friends, but many of them also were catastrophes in the making. With so much stacked against her, Jaquira seemed doomed and yet she had a talent and that talent was writing and as she pulled herself up and found the meaning of school and an education, she achieved what most would have thought impossible.

    This was a harrowing memoir, one that had disaster written all over it, and yet the words and the stories seemed authentic. Many memoirs have that questionable element, but to me, this one seemed like the real deal. As I read the pages, my mind kept wondering how the heck did this girl survive? It is a testament to the human spirit and of course to Jaquira herself that she was able to journey onto a road where her dignity, her mind, her heart, and of course her writing has been allowed to trek. The only thing I sometimes found was that the telling was choppy, lending at times the reader to lose exactly where in Jaquira's life we were reading of.

    I definitely recommend this story to those who are looking for a convincing and creditable story of a life that many would have thought was ended before it even started.

    Thank you to Jacquira Diaz, Debra Linn, Rachel Gryder, First Readers Club, and Algonquin Books for forwarding a copy of this book to me. This book is due to be published on October 29,2019.

  • Margaret

    3/5

    This is a memoir of Jaquira Diaz’s very rough years growing up in Puerto Rico and Miami. Her mother and her maternal grandmother are both diagnosed as being schizophrenic and are active drug and alcohol addicts for most of their lives. Her mother is madly in love with her father, but he is not faithful to her (or to most any of the women he is with) and so they fight bitterly and do not live together. Her abuela, her father’s mother, is the one steady adult in her early life. She

    3/5

    This is a memoir of Jaquira Diaz’s very rough years growing up in Puerto Rico and Miami. Her mother and her maternal grandmother are both diagnosed as being schizophrenic and are active drug and alcohol addicts for most of their lives. Her mother is madly in love with her father, but he is not faithful to her (or to most any of the women he is with) and so they fight bitterly and do not live together. Her abuela, her father’s mother, is the one steady adult in her early life. She has a brother Anthony and a sister Alaina. Anthony stays put with his father and their abuela most of the time, while the two girls go back and forth between their parents. Times at their mother’s house are brutal and chaotic. Times at their father’s house are much calmer and supportive. Anthony seems to watch out for himself much better than his sister does. (Alaina is much younger and seems to have no choice.) He refuses to live with his crazy mother. As a result of this and other sibling rivalries, Jaqui and Anthony fight bitterly over the years.

    Diaz tells in great detail the hardships of her early life, of the beatings and abuse, and especially of the neglect. The young Jaqui is a heavy user of drugs and alcohol and is left to run the streets at all hours with her group of girlfriends and whomever else they pick up along the way. She is repeatedly in trouble with the law and juvenile court. This core group of girlfriends is the emotional center of her life. Some of them grow up and get beyond these early wild years; others fall victim to the harshness of their lives.

    It’s clear by the very existence of this book and the news in the author’s bio that Diaz makes it out of this early horror of a life. She is bookish, like her father, and even though she cannot manage to stay in school (she gets a GED), she is in the honors English class. She has the skills but not the emotional stability to use them until she nears the end of her teen years. Even then she struggles to stay in community college, to stay in the Navy, to build her relationship with the young man who really loves her. The way she tells her story creates an even greater feeling of chaos as she returns again and again to yet another similar story of disaster. But she does succeed and becomes a writer and a teacher of creative writing. It’s clear several chapters were written as stories and published before they were included in this memoir. That’s not uncommon, but these stories are really repetitive and out of order. We know she will make it out, but we don’t get to see very much of that process. And that’s a shame because Diaz is a skilled writer and has a good story to tell. (Her list of writing credits is very impressive; she is a journalist and essayist as well as a memoirist.) Even at the very end of the book, she goes back and reviews the chaos of her girlhood. It’s almost as if she misses the excitement of her crazy past rather than reveling in her enormous successes in the present or in the process that got her from there to here. In the publisher’s paragraph on the back of the book, they compare this book to Tara Westover’s Educated. The parallel is there: two young women with difficult backgrounds make it out of their teens and live to tell the tale in memoir form. But there is that big difference too. Unlike Westover, Diaz doesn’t show us enough of the process or substance of her own considerable success. Despite my quarrels with this book, I admire Diaz’s skills and would gladly read a novel of hers, if she were to write one. I hope she does.

    Thank you to Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill who gave me an ARC to read and review.

  • Sam Sattler

    That Jaquira Díaz is a survivor cannot be argued. The odds that Díaz would be able to turn her life around as dramatically as she seems to have done had to have been pretty heavily stacked against her when she was growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach. Compounding Díaz’s problems, her mother battled schizophrenia all her life, her maternal grandmother was mentally unstable, and Díaz herself had to battle depression so bad that it led to multiple suicide attempts on her pa

    That Jaquira Díaz is a survivor cannot be argued. The odds that Díaz would be able to turn her life around as dramatically as she seems to have done had to have been pretty heavily stacked against her when she was growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach. Compounding Díaz’s problems, her mother battled schizophrenia all her life, her maternal grandmother was mentally unstable, and Díaz herself had to battle depression so bad that it led to multiple suicide attempts on her part. But survive, she did, and now she is telling the world all about it in Ordinary Girls: A Memoir.

    So how did she do it? A big part of the story is that Díaz’s love of books and stories not only helped her to survive a childhood largely spent drinking, drugging, and fighting on the streets and beaches of Miami with her friends, but also offered her the career path she has embraced as an adult. Her father may have not always been there for Díaz – and he regularly failed to protect her from her mother’s destructive behavior – but he was a man who loved books and reading. Reading her father’s books made Díaz feel closer to him despite his shortcomings, and even during the most chaotic and lowest periods of her adolescence, she never lost the desire to turn herself into a writer.

    But it wasn’t easy to get there.

    Díaz tells us that she was a runner, someone who ran from her problems rather than facing them head on. Damn the consequences. Whenever the combination of circumstances and depression reached an unbearable pitch, she walked away from good jobs, from marriage to a man who wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, from a promising stint with the U.S. Navy, from school, from her family, and from anyone else who tried to help her. The problem was that she almost always ran in the wrong direction. Díaz did, though, have a loyal core of friends - those “ordinary girls” of the book’s title - whom she counted on to get her through just one more day or night every time she couldn’t do it on her own . And they did just that.

    Despite being an avowed feminist and social warrior, Díaz and her friends seem to have completely embraced the Hip Hop lifestyle during their teen years, a lifestyle that (at least from the outside looking in) is the antitheses of feminism. She and her friends knew the lyrics to dozens of rap songs and took great joy in singing them together, but still seemed surprised when anything akin to those lyrics intruded on their real world. Sexual violence, drug and alcohol abuse, a mentally ill mother, a largely absent father (even when he was there), violent fights with other girls, and arrests and court appearances were all part of Diaz’s adolescence. Her solution was usually to run from one bad decision to the next.

    Yes, the odds were stacked against her, but she made it. I only wish I knew what finally turned her around for good and how it happened, but that is a frustrating thing about Ordinary Girls. Diaz doesn’t really tell us what finally did it for her other than suggesting that her childhood friends were instrumental in making it possible for her to become who she is today. I don’t doubt that for a minute, but I am disappointed that she did not share more about the rest of her life with us. About the closest thing we get is one three-sentence paragraph in which Díaz mentions college, graduate school, editing a magazine, teaching, working as a financial aid counselor, and taking care of her paternal grandmother - with exactly this much detail.

    All of that has the makings of a second memoir, so perhaps that is the plan. If not, opportunity lost.

    Copy provided by Algonquin Books for review purposes

  • Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters

    Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz is a memoir about her childhood and adolescence in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach.

    Jaquira didn’t have a cozy protective life. At a young age, Jaquira suffered from depression - attempting suicide for the first time at age 11.

    As a sometimes runaway street kid with repeated juvenile crimes - she was a high school drop out.

    Being, black, female, gay, and poor....Jaquira was very different from her white mother who suffered with mental illness and addiction.

    Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz is a memoir about her childhood and adolescence in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach.

    Jaquira didn’t have a cozy protective life. At a young age, Jaquira suffered from depression - attempting suicide for the first time at age 11.

    As a sometimes runaway street kid with repeated juvenile crimes - she was a high school drop out.

    Being, black, female, gay, and poor....Jaquira was very different from her white mother who suffered with mental illness and addiction.

    Growing up, Jaquira’s friends were hood girls - vulnerable and strong who taught Jaquira about love, friendship, and hope.

    But she also grew up around shootings and 14-year-old boys who carry guns while riding their bikes.

    Jaquira loved books as a child because her father did. ( books being the best savior)...

    but the parents divorce didn’t help family cohesiveness - safety- structure - or healthy boundaries. Papi was mostly absent emotionally and physically and her mother was severely mentally sick and addicted.

    The writing included dialogue/stories - about her ‘unprotected’ growing years.

    The impression of a dead baby being found in the bushes - and watching TV news about child abuse, child trafficking, child labor, drugs, violence, and homeless children of immigrants were memories she carried into her adult years.

    Overhearing conversations and the TV news about the crime of a dead baby

    referenced the murderer as

    “the lesbian mother”....

    Jaquira learned being a lesbian was part of the crime.

    Jaquira had a lot of truth and understanding to work out....

    she slowly found her way down a better path to a more wholesome life -

    Proud to be black, gay, and female!

    Jaquira said she wrote this book for her girls - her friends - the brown black girls - who were like her — who had brutal - self surviving lives as she did.

    She and her friends are all women now - not everyone made it out of their tough childhoods - but most did.

    Her friends are medical assistance, single mothers, and managers of business.

    The message that Jaquira leaves ...

    She wishes that she could reach back in time and tell everybody to take care of themselves to live and fight for each other to dance live and laugh.

    The story of Jaquira is a sad one - but the non-linear

    writing didn’t allow me enough time to emotionally ‘feel’ this story....

    Yet...I applaud Jaquira for her strength and tenacity.

    Thank You Algonquin Books, Netgalley, and Jaquira Diaz. Wishing Diaz many more years of well being and the valuable gifts received through ongoing writing.

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