Friday, November 4, 2022

Book Review: "How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water" by Angie Cruz

How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water (cool title, huh?) is an emotional and humorous book with a tremendously memorable narrator.

Cara Romero never dreamed she’d be looking for work in her mid-fifties. But when the factory where she’s worked for years moves to Costa Rica, she has to find work again before her unemployment checks stop coming. She enrolls in a program where she’ll meet with a job counselor and try to find the right type of job.

Over the course of 12 sessions, she defiantly tells the counselor she wants to work. (But she’s a little particular about what, and where, a potential job should be.) More than that, however, in each of the sessions, she gives her counselor far more than she bargained for in hearing about her life.

Cara tells her counselor about her early life in the Dominican Republic, the marriage that made her flee to the U.S. She talks about her best friend, Lulú, and her difficult relationship with her sister, Ángela, who resents her for many things. But what plagues her the most is that her son, Fernando, abandoned her. She was just being a good mother and trying to protect him and toughen him up so the world didn’t take advantage of him. Why was that so bad?

Her sessions become increasingly emotional as Cara shares secrets and fears—but she still wants to work, mind you. Cara is the type of woman who has faced life head-on and as much as she has experienced setbacks, she still believes in herself.

This was such a fascinating story. Cara is funny, proud, stubborn, and sad, and as the sessions go on, the layers of her life and personality are slowly revealed. She’s definitely a character I’ll think about for a long while!

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