Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: Dreams of Significant Girls, by Cristina Garcia

Dreams of Significant Girls is a captivating story about three very different girls that form an unlikely friendship.

Vivien is the bookworm from New York City, and her dad is a Cuban exile. Shirin is a spoiled rich girl from Tehran. Ingrid (the one with the bad reputation) is from Canada, but her father immigrated there after WWII. These three girls spend three summers together in Switzerland at a luxurious summer camp for privileged girls from all over the world. All is not smooth sailing for these three, and their various antics make for some entertaining reading.

I really don’t want to tell you about any of the “antics.” Some hints:  there’s a boy’s school close by, there’s horses, and these girls are RICH, so that adds some interesting possibilities. They aren’t immediately friends – at the beginning of the book, it doesn’t seem possible that they will ever be friends. The cultural and familial influences on each of these girls are intricately woven into in the events that happen over these three summers.

The summers are from 1971 – 1973, and while this isn’t apparent on every page, there are some cultural and political references that are important. Garcia includes an epilogue that is written in 1983 that fills in some blanks and ties up the story – although not the way the reader might expect. I thought it was an excellent way to finish the book.

There are frank discussions of sexual situations that make this book more appropriate for mature, older teens. This is definitely a book for girls – and especially those that love books about friendship and overcoming obstacles. I know I will recommend this book to many of my teens.

Published by Simon & Schuster, July 12, 2011
238 pages

Rating 3.5/5

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