Violet Paz has just turned fifteen, a pivotal birthday in the eyes of her Cuban grandmother. Fifteen is the age when a girl enters womanhood, traditionally celebrating the occasion with a quinceaÌ±ero. But while Violet is half Cuban, she’s also half Polish, and more importantly, she feels 100% American. Except for her zany family’s passion for playing dominoes, smoking cigars, and dancing to Latin music, Violet knows little about Cuban culture, nada about quinces, and only tidbits about the history of Cuba. So when Violet begrudgingly accepts Abuela’s plans for a quinceaÌ±ero-and as she begins to ask questions about her Cuban roots-cultures and feelings collide. The mere mention of Cuba and Fidel Castro elicits her grandparents’sadness and her father’s anger. Only Violet’s aunt Luz remains open-minded. With so many divergent views, it’s not easy to know what to believe. All Violet knows is that she’s got to form her own opinions, even if this jolts her family into unwanted confrontations. After all, a quince girl is supposed to embrace responsibility-and to Violet that includes understanding the Cuban heritage that binds her to a homeland she’s never seen. —from the website at Penguin Random House
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