Blair's Book Blog

Olga Dies Dreaming

Author: Xochitl Gonzalez

Rating: 4-star

Publisher: Flatiron Books / Macmillan

Find a copy at a local library

Olga Dies Dreaming occurs in recent contemporary America, specifically within the Puerto Rican diaspora living in Brooklyn, New York, through the view of Olga and her family.

Olga was essentially raised by her brother Prieto and her grandmother. Her father was largely absent due to drugs, and then death. Her mother absent to be a revolutionary.

Olga tries to navigate life as Puerto Rican descendant within a rich white person’s world. Her brother is trying to represent Brooklyn in US Congress. Both experience mixed success, and always with the remote judgment from their mother, who shares her thoughts on their progress through untraceable letters.

Gonzalez touches on family, belonging, love, and abuse. She’s never particularly heavy-handed, and I feel that she realistically portrays struggles that descendants of minority immigrants face within contemporary America.

This was a book club pick, and a fairly good choice, in my opinion. I enjoyed it much more than I expected. I recommend it.