Olga Dies Dreaming

Thoughts by Xóchitl González, Flatiron Books 2022, 349 pages

Challenge: Recommended by a friend.

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction, Puerto Rico Independence, American Dream Pursuit

Type/Source: eBook/Libby Library – 14 day loan

Rather than be irritated, she thought, she should focus on the infallible hilarity of the ultra-wealthy to be penny-wise when it came to compensating human sweat, and dollar-foolish when it came to everything else. She shouldn’t be irritated at all, she counseled herself, and instead laugh her way to the bank.

What It’s About: Olga is a high-achieving owner of a wedding planning business to the wealthy of NYC. Her every move is calculated to take advantage of opportunities to make money and gain status. Her brother is a US Representative from and for Brooklyn. Their father is dead from HIV drug-use and their mom is a fugitive revolutionary-mercenary.

New York had a shocking way of spiraling into chaos whenever met with precipitation, as though the entirety of its infrastructure was actually made of sugar and the water triggered dissolution.

Thoughts: I won’t lie, this was hard to get into. The first third had me pushing myself to keep reading and I wouldn’t give myself permission to DNF because a friend recommended it to me. A friend that I greatly admire. Then I began to wonder, ‘What *IS* this? a love story? A whodunnit tale of treachery? (I was worried that the romantic interest was going to be a bad guy — spoiler: he is a good guy.) A family drama child abandonment story? or an incitation to Revolution, on the part of Puerto Rico?

Yes, and I support PR being granted statehood. The status of this island and these citizens is unjust; to be dependent and taxed, without representation.

She was less uncomfortable than she thought she would be, the realization of which made her uncomfortable.

However, all the stories do come together and I admire this as an author’s strong debut, in mostly– for me– what it accomplishes and addresses, a passionate statement in support of Puerto Rico. I learned a lot more about Puerto Rico.

If your rights are less because you’re born in one place, not another, how meaningful are those rights in the first place?

Rating: Four slices of pie.



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7 thoughts on “Olga Dies Dreaming

    1. It is quite buzzy! I think I was quite lucky to get it so fast from the library. I expect demand will build AND have holding power. It is able to cater to different motivations for readers, I think.

    1. Oh, I don’t know if that is the book or MY fault. Or let’s go with the idea that I’m tempering expectations and you are sure to fall right into it! 😀

  1. Well, this is the first I’ve heard of the book, but the premise sounds really fun, at least! I’m making a mental note to pick it up at the library, and I will be prepared for it to get off to a slow start.

    1. OH! I would love to hear your thoughts on this. AND on The Echo Wife (did you post a review?) I did read some other observations about what TEW was highlighting and I can appreciate what was brought to light. I didn’t see the same thing in the ending as some, I think and WOW! maybe I need to reconsider. (We will find out when it is up for discussion in TOB, I’m sure)

  2. Glad the book all came round in the end and you didn’t regret reading it to the end. Yes, Puerto Rico deserves to be a state. They voted for it, now Congress needs to get themselves together and do something.

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