That’s the point right?
Otherwise, why read. Why continue to read each page if you already know what’s going to happen.
You will find yourself torn between cheering for the mother and wanting to sit her down for an intervention. You will think about yourself and how you would deal with things if you were in that situation. You would wish to be enveloped by Serena’s grandmother’s arm and hear her wisdom. You’ll take that wisdom to heart for your own life. You will want to take Serena and hide her away from herself but then on the next page feel a sense of pride for her achievements.You will wish to live in Curacao but then thankful to live in your own town.
You’ll find yourself wanting to read more of this book. And that, my friend, is the whole point, isn’t it?
Thirteen-year-old Serena is torn from everything that’s familiar on her island home. She leaves her beloved grandmother, her father, and two of her siblings to move with her mother and older sister to Florida and then to California.
“Everything will be better in America,” her mother tells her. They arrive in the US to find nothing as they expected. Speaking fluent Dutch, Spanish, and Papiamentu (the language of her home Caribean island of Curacao), but limited English, Serena learns to pretend that everything’s fine while struggling to live up to her mother’s impossibly high expectations; always afraid to send her mother into another downward spiral of depression. She juggles responsibility for her mother’s well-being with school, a secret boyfriend, and a growing desire for independence, in a foreign land: Hollywood.
The wisdom of her grandmother, a mixed-race mystic, gives her solace, which she clings to tenaciously despite the thousands of miles between them. Coming of age in a foreign land, faced with enormous obstacles, Serena finds her own feet and the acceptance that sets her free.