Book summary: In the Name of Salome

2000 BY JULIA ALVAREZ

"The story of my life starts with the story of my country... ." Thus begins Julia Alvarez's epic fictional account of the real-life Salomé Ureña-the "Emily Dickinson of the Dominican Republic." Born in the 1850s, in a time of intense political repression and turmoil, Salomé's fervent patriotic poems turned her-at seventeen-into a national icon. In the Name of Salomé is equally the story of Salomé's daughter, Camila, who grows up in exile, in the shadow of her mother's legend. Shy and self-effacing, Camila's life is in stark contrast to Salomé's. While her mother dedicated her brief life to educating Dominican girls to serve their struggling new nation, Camila spent her career explaining the Spanish pluperfect to upper-class American girls. But when, at age sixty-six, Camila makes a decision to leave her comfortable life behind and join Castro's revolution in Cuba, she begins a journey to make peace with her past-and bring the lives of two remarkable women full circle.

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