Conquistadora,” Esmeralda Santiago’s thrilling new historical novel, follows a determined young woman to Puerto Rico in the mid 19th century. Esmeralda Santiago plays with, then capsizes, these caricatures in “ Conquistadora,” which she has set in midth-century Puerto Rico. Esmeralda Santiago (born May 17, ) is a Puerto Rican author and former actress known (Hardcover – April ); Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiage (Author) ()(review, Washington Post, 30 Jy , C-1); El sueño de América.

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Someday Puerto Rico will have a great historical novel about independence, Betances, and the migration to Puerto Rico. I loved the beginning, Santiago does an excellent job of introducing Ana and building a great foundation for this novel.

The first part of “Conquistadora” suffers from story-telling. I spent a couple of months in San Juan back in the mids.

It made me dizzy going from the history lessons to the parts about sex, not to mention too much detail about both! Does the Spanish settling of santjago country still echo in Puerto Rico today? A women who won’t let herself remember or conquistaora on her past decisions because she is afraid of the regrets she will have. Refresh and try again. I hated really, truly, deeply disliked everything about nearly every single character in the story.

Reading the book made me feel like I was back in high school, polishing my Puerto Rican history with the hip, cool history teacher I had, Ms. What did they eat? Ana conquistsdora want to be like the women of her station or like her parents, who she feels, live off thier ancestors fortune and good name without doing santiagl in their own lives to deserve it. At first, I worried that I was creating a character who would have been impossible in that time and that place.


Bad writing killed a good story. There is no need to keep this one in your personal home library.

The characters are somewhat interesting although not necessarily nice. So, I do recommend it, with the caveat that it may take a while before you begin enjoying it. Santiago is an active volunteer. I thought I would like this book better than I did. In fact, Ana and the twins with the help of Severo, the farm’s manager, used whatever means they could to increased the farm’s supply of slave labor. It is hard to get involved with them or to care what happens.


She does so by marrying a young man whose family has a plantation in Puerto Rico. May 21, Johanna rated it did not like it.

Esmfralda own grandmother had died recently, and my connection to previous generations on her side had vanished with her. A bold, sweeping, gorgeous novel that is now one of my favorites.

Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago

Its beauty and glory is, and also regretfully, built on the back of slavery. To view it, click here.

I felt a little dissapointed at the beginning, but then remembered that the story of the New World, of the America’s and the Caribbean islands, is one in the same. I probably would not have gotten through it as quickly if I was physically reading it though, due to the nature of my life right now must be completely sucked in to even bother finishing and because some of the details at times moved slowly.

Oct 01, Ssjustice rated it liked it.

Anyway, I was intrigued by the the kind of historical fiction that I like – strong, determined female character fights for survival in the face of adversity. And perhaps this is just me, a norteamericana, projecting my understanding of slavery and the South on Puerto Rico, but I also could have used more of the darkness and foreboding one finds in books set in areas haunted by slavery; the dark foreboding of Flannery O’Connor or the gloomy Faulknerian sense that something in the very essence of the land has been spoiled by human bondage and that phantom, whatever it might be, is coming to get you.


PR, then ruled by Spain had not outlawed it Conquistadpra wheels in her head are always turning. Jan 20, Elle rated it it was ok. Jul 12, Pages. Carefully plotting her future, she selects a husband she can manipulate and then manuevers him into emigrati If Ana Larragoity Cubillas had been born in 20th century America instead of 19th century Spain, she’d be the head of a Fortune company. At the same time, what humanitarian feelings pricked at the edge of their conscience were tempered by the urgent need to realize a gain on their investment in brazos for the fields.

Raised to be a proper young lady, she chafes against the restrictions of her position in society. saantiago

Esmeralda Santiago

Ana, as a widow, decides to marry Severo who has proved himself as an asset to Los Gemelos. How did this book fifirst start for you?

Figueroa, and others, to get a sense of how the industry developed in Puerto Rico, as well as other places like Cuba, Jamaica, and Louisiana. It is just filled with so many other things that was not needed for the story ie the incest. I felt compelled to purchase this book.

She endures conquiistadora heat, disease, isolation and relatively primitive facilities. I was quickly draw When we first meet Ana, she’s just being born.