This book is so magical! Don’t Date Rosa Santos is a story of family, home, memories, death, longing, and also of growing up stuck between two worlds: the worlds of immigrant parents and grandparents, and the world where one was born. It’s also a beautiful story that weaves together timeless traditions and cultural inheritance with modern life in a Cuban-American community in small town seaside Florida.
I absolutely loved the real community that exists in this book, something that I have missed so much ever since I left my little immigrant haven in NYC, and reminds me of the love I feel every time I walk down the main street in my little village in England. I may not have been back for years, but everyone knows me and just acts like we saw each other the day before. Nina Moreno does such a wonderful job creating that warm, recognizable setting.
Rosa Santos lives with her grandmother and her mother (when she is around) in the small community of Port Coral in Florida. She is nearing the end of her senior year in high school and has to make a choice about her future. Faced with indecision about what she really wants to do next, the appearance of a good looking and intriguing man on the harbor, and a curse that the women in her family carry with them through their lives, Rosa steps outside of her organizational comfort zone and lets the waves crash over her for the first time in her life.
This story is gorgeously written and held my heart tightly - I don’t want this to be the last I read of Rosa Santos! I can’t wait to read Nina Moreno’s future work!
“Maybe sometimes going home again could be as simple as listening to a song.” (I relate to that sentence SO MUCH).