Maria's Pick: "Olga Dies Dreaming" by Xochitl Gonzalez
I love a story that allows me to step into someone else’s life, especially someone whose circumstances are different from my own.
Olga is a Puerto Rican American woman whose close knit family lives in New York City. She and her brother, Pietro, were raised by their grandmother after their revolutionary mother abandoned them for a militant group defending Puerto Rico.
Olga is a wedding planner for the wealthy and her brother is a congressman. Although they are seemingly each very successful in their careers, various familial, cultural, and political forces leave them both questioning their choices. They also have to come to terms with the pressure that their mother, whose love and approval they still seek, puts on them.
As the story unfolds, Olga has to figure out what to hold onto and what to let go of in order to find love and to create a life for herself that works. There are no easy answers and no pleasing everyone, but it is an interesting journey that was both engaging and educational.