Cover Image: Neruda on the Park

Neruda on the Park

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Member Reviews

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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