Cover Image: Neruda on the Park

Neruda on the Park

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Eusabia and Luz are Mother and adult daughter. Luz, an Attorney, loses her job as an Associate in a NY firm on the very day she expected to be made a Junior Partner. The family, including Vladimir, Luz’s Father and NYPD Detective, live in a mainly Dominican neighborhood that is being ‘gentrified’. Hunter, Luz’s boyfriend, is responsible for the demolition and construction. The family is Afro-Caribbean, Hunter is white. Luz does not know what she is going to do with her future. Eusabia is going to do everything in her power to stop the changes. The novel is beautiful and well written to the point the reader will realize it is more than just their story. The climax is unexpected but most fitting. Thank you to Net Galley and Ballantine Books for an ARC for an honest review.

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<b> This is going to be a 2022 favorite for sure! </b>
Neruda on the Park explores the age old question of “where is home”, is it a place? What is it? <b> Home, she told herself, could be a place, a person, a feeling, at times, a profession, the end result of a long pursuit. A fluid thing, for sure, but precious. </b>
I absolutely loved reading this book and I think a lot of people will enjoy it as well. In Neruda on the pack we meet the Guerreros, they have spent majority of their lives in Nothar Park, home to mostly Dominicans in New York. One day they wake up to see demolition taking place and a new condo being built. You know that this means… the neighbourhood is about to change.
Eusebia who came from the Dominican Republic with her husband Vladimir wants to fight the development, protect the people she’s come to know and love. Their daughter Luz, a budding attorney finds there are some benefits to the neighbourhood changing, it means she doesn’t have to go all the way into the City to do hot yoga (yay). Vladimir on the other hand, wants to take the payout and leave for his home in the Dominican Republic and retire there. A lot of people will be affected, some will have to leave home, to find their true home.
A well crafted tale about gentrification, agency, mother-daughter relationship and what it means to call a place home. The author does a great job of telling a well thought out story, and I loved that she told the story from the POV of the Luz and Eusebia. We get a deeper look into their motivation and how they justify their action. This is a such a great story about community, how coming together with one goal can lead to a victory.
A well done story that I want everyone to read!

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This book is the story of the struggles of both a community a family and an individual in facing cultural challenges and “progress. “.
Luz is the main character, Dominican descent, who made good in the “white mans world” becoming a successful lawyer.
The setting is on norther park where she and her family live. It is where the community is. the rich cultural heritage, and the fight to preserve it in the face of real estate development.
This books speaks to those experiencing similar pulls between their upbringing and ascending the economic ladder . It can also appeal to anyone questioning their role in so called progress, as well as anyone wanting to have a deeper understanding in their role in shaping our society.

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A complex but interesting story that I was surprised to enjoy as much as I did. The story is told from the perspective of Luz and her mother Eusebia with occasional interjections by “The Tongues”, 3 sisters known to be gossips. All are immigrants from the Dominican Republic living near Nothar Park in New York City. Luz is a recently unemployed attorney trying to figure out what to do with her life. She meets and falls in love with Hudson and finds out that he is behind the demolition of an old building in her neighborhood and planned construction of luxury apartments at the site. In the meantime, Eusebia is fighting the neighborhood changes and takes her attempted sabotage to extremes. Luz’s father, Vladimir is occupied with his work on difficult cases as a police officer and with building a retirement dream home for he and Eusebia in the Dominican Republic so is mostly unaware of his family and neighborhood spiraling out of control.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book because it seemed a little disjointed and lacking direction and plot at first. However, I felt like the main characters were developed well in an interesting and intriguing manner. There were humorous moments involving some minor characters such as Eusebia’s sister, Cuca and The Tongues. I felt like the interjections by The Tongues gave the book a unique perspective and demonstrated the author’s creative writing style. There were definitely unanswered questions in the end but letting the reader wonder, think about the possibilities and want more is a writing style that I always enjoy.

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I am so excited to have been approved to read this book! The story follows a Dominican family in Nothar Park (upper Manhattan) who is being affected by a development company looking to gentrify the area. Luz is a late 20-something lawyer who lives with her mother and father. Eusebia, Luz's mother, refuses to take the gentrification of the neighborhood lightly and devises a pretty smart strategy to make Nothar Park seem less desirable to those who may be interested in move in. Luz meets a man named Hudson who actually owns the company developing the new building. Throughout the course of the book, we see Luz and Eusebia's relationship change as Luz discovers what she wants and Eusebia reflects upon her life and the decisions that others have always made for her. Vladimir, Luz's father and Eusebia's husband is focused on retiring from the NYPD to the Dominican Republic and building a house for him and Eusebia to spend the rest of their days. Some of the reading was a little awkward, but some of the writing was also beautiful. Luz was very well-developed, while others were not as fleshed out. I enjoyed the descriptions of New York and I did enjoy the book as I am a setting person.

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Set in Nothar Park, a predominantly Dominican part of NYC we follow a family's journey of attempting to preserve their cultural heritage in their own personal ways when a developer comes to buy out the neighborhood. Beautifully written.

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Oh, how I wanted to love this book! The premise is enticing - a Dominican family in Nothar Park (upper Manhattan) is forced to deal with the demolition of an eyesore of a building that will be replaced by a development company looking to gentrify the area. Luz is a late 20-something lawyer who lives with her mother and father. After Luz's work path turns in a different direction, she confronts her previous view of herself in addition to her parents' expectations. Eusebia, Luz's mother, refuses to take the gentrification of the neighborhood lightly and devises a plan to make Nothar Park seem undesirable to those who would move in. In the meantime, Luz meets Hudson who turns out to own the company developing the new building. Throughout the course of the book, we see Luz and Eusebia's relationship change as Luz discovers what she wants and Eusebia reflects upon her life and the decisions that others have always made for her.

The character development in the novel seems choppy. We never really understand Luz's motivations and many of the events seem disjointed, particularly towards the end in regards to Luz and Hudson's relationship. Eusebia's plan to save the neighborhood happens with the buy-in of many of their building's residents, but there is no indication why some of them make these life-altering choices. The only constant character is Vladimir, Luz's father and Eusebia's husband. His focus is on retiring from the NYPD to the Dominican Republic and building a house for him and Eusebia to spend their days.

The subsection titles within each chapter are distracting and unnecessary. They pull a word or phrase from the section that often does not seem to be the important message that the author wants us to receive. Additionally, the inclusion of Spanish words, while helping to flavor the text and narrative, stalls a non-Spanish reader. A glossary at the end of the book would solve this problem.

Overall, I really wanted to love this novel. But without revealing too much of the story, many of the events seem unrealistic and just plain odd.

Thanks to #NetGalley for an #ARC. #CleyvisNatera #NerudaonthePark

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Thank you Random House Publishing, NetGalley, and Cleyvis Natera for the opportunity to read the ARC. Publishing date: May 2022

This book is set in Nothar Park, a predominantly Dominican part of NYC. When a developer came to buy out the neighborhood, we get a chance to follow several characters’ journey and learn about their past. The author did a beautiful job layering in familiar relationships, friendship, and professional ambition. It is not a happy ending but it does end peacefully.

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Neruda on the Park
By: Cleyvis Natera
Pub. date: May 17, 2022
Review date: October 31, 2021

Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine & to NetGalley, for allowing me to read this arc in exchange for an honest review..
I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to read this book! It’s beautifully written with a storyline that kept me interested from about the quarter-of-the-way-in point until the very end. I would definitely recommend Neruda on the Park & I give this book 4 stars.
#NerudaOnThePark #NetGalley

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This book is beautiful. I highly recommend for the luminous prose, incredible characters, and a fantastically intricate setting. I'm not the only person recommending this novel, but I'm adding my voice to the chorus singing its praises. So grateful to have been able to read an advance copy.

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This was a book I really wanted to read so I was thrilled when the publisher granted my wish. Neruda on the Park is a story about the Guerreros, a Dominican immigrant family living in Nothar Park, New York. Nothar Park is an area where many Dominican families have settled. Eusebia and Vladimir are elders in the community. Their daughter Luz is living the life her parents dreamed for her as an associate at a top law firm in Manhattan. Developers devise new plans for the Nothar Park area and those plans involve tearing down existing structures to make way for new luxury condos. Eusebia begins a dangerous campaign to stop the new construction with little support from Vladimir who is quietly and surreptitiously designing their retirement home back in the Dominican Republic. The story gets more interesting when Luz begins a romance with the white developer of the construction project her mother is fighting against. This pits mother and daughter against each other and ramps up the drama and the tension. Neruda on the park is a story about family, love, community, culture, and determination. It is beautifully and richly written and well worth the read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

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I loved this book! As a Dominican and a former immigrant, the story felt very familiar. Luz's relationship with her Mom, Eusebia, was one I've seen so many times and the author did a beautiful job capturing all the nuances of it.

Thanks to NetGalley, author and publisher for providing a free copy of this book.

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