Olga Dies Dreaming
Books | Fiction / Family Life / Siblings
'Deeply satisfying and nuanced . . . a tender exploration of love in its many forms' Observer 'Gonzalez couples engrossing political intrigue with engagingly flawed characters you can't help but root for' Mail on Sunday It's 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro 'Prieto' Acevedo, are bold-faced names in their hometown of New York. Prieto is a popular congressman representing their gentrifying, Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn, while Olga is the tony wedding planner for Manhattan's power brokers.Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Sure, Olga can orchestrate the love stories of the one percent, but she can't seem to find her own . . . until she meets Matteo, who forces her to confront the effects of long-held family secrets.Twenty-seven years ago, their mother, Blanca, a Young Lord-turned-radical, abandoned her children to advance a militant political cause, leaving them to be raised by their grandmother. Now, with the winds of hurricane season, Blanca has come barreling back into their lives.Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico's history, Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife and the very notion of the American dream - all while asking what it really means to weather a storm.
Little, Brown Book Group
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"I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, the beginning was good, but opened in a way where I expected that, at most, I'd like it. The development of the book pulled me in so much, it often made me angry and frustrated but for all the right reasons. Though a work of fiction, the author ties in a lot of recent events which adds a lot of realness to the book as well. 5/5 🌟 :) "
"Olga has verve, candor and drive, one of the best characters I’ve seen on the page in several years. A Brooklyn girl with a rich Puerto Rican heritage, she and her brother grow up taking care of each other after mom abandons them and dad dies. Olga at age 40 is a successful woman who lives life with gusto and who seeks love. Olga shines brightly in this novel, and I rooted for her from page 1. Olga Dies Dreaming is the 2022 selection for Greenwich (CT) Reads Together."
"I really want to give this book three stars because its idea is relevant and intelligent. It is a fun and smart look into Puerto Rican culture in Brooklyn, NYC. The characters seem to have everything they need and want, accompanied by the need to speak out against biases and unfair treatment. It’s almost laughable. It’s hard to see how injustice is directly affecting the characters in just the portrayal of their lives and the narrative. The romance is typical and the ending is a disappointment because it seems to be inserted in out of nowhere and it contradicts what we already know about the main character’s relationship to a romantic partner. Also, this is the third time in a row that I have met such a visceral female in a novel, so I’m wondering if it’s just coincidence or if it’s formulaic. And, I totally missed the meaning of this book’s title as it relates to the story. "
"While I didn’t dislike this book, I didn’t find it overwhelmingly notable. 6/10 for me. Interesting thematic explorations of generational trauma, identity, gentrification, and family. However, resolution of the some of the main conflicts felt very “throw away” as a lot of things are wrapped up in a bow in a “happily ever after” sort of fashion. "
"Great book! Good story lines, interesting characters, kept my interest from the start to finish. Very easy to get into."
"This is a difficult book to rate, but ultimately I’ll give it 4 stars. It is slow in parts and it contains what my be one of the worst mothers in literary history. Olga and Pietro are both insufferable but also fascinatingly complex. I did really enjoy how it put a personal touch on the politics of Puerto Rico, which I have realized I am embarrassingly unfamiliar with."