Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

Review: Neruda on the Park, by Cleyvis Natera

Kahleah from the Virtual Silent Book Club read Cleyvis Natera’s debut novel, Neruda on the Park and spoke about it, and it sounded interesting to me, both as a New York book and as a book I would not ordinarily have picked up on my own.

Described on Goodreads as “exhilarating,” I would say – instead – that it was gripping. The characters are unforgettable, and there are plot twists aplenty. I could not stop listening to this (the readers – Imani Russell, Annette Amelia Oliveira, and Alma Cuervo – are superb). My one caveat is that there are a few other Dominican strongholds in New York City, at least two of which I’m familiar with.

But wow! I am so glad I picked this up. It was well worth the time to listen to, and is an incredibly vibrant picture – a few of the more imaginative plot twists notwithstanding – of one of NYC’s incredible cultures. I would say that – in some ways – it reminded me of Lin Manuel Miranda’s paean to NYC, In the Heights, but that doesn’t do either this book or that film justice.

If you like books about NYC, or about the many cultures that make it up, this is one book you should not miss!

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