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Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago

In Conquistadora, Ana Larragoity Cubillas is a 19th-century Spanish woman dreaming of adventure. In love with a woman, she arranges for them to be married to twin brothers. Ana convinces the brothers that their fortune resides on their family's sugar plantation in Puerto Rico. When Ana's husband dies, she decides to run the plantation, despite the constant setbacks. Through Ana's struggles and successes, Conquistadora tracks the history of Puerto Rico as well as telling Ana's story. Esmeralda Santiago's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "She may be a free spirit, but she keeps slaves. For her to question that contradiction would be to lose everything, and for the author to create a heroine who is in many ways self-centered and self-serving is to take a great risk. But Santiago's Ana is a woman with a lust for life and the drive of a conquistador. She may be flawed, but she's also fabulous, and Conquistadora is a triumph."
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BookPage review by Cat Acree

Washington Post review by Eugenia Zukerman

New York Times review by Gaiutra Bahadur

Seattle Times review by Agnes Torres Al-Shibibi

Boston Globe review by Julie Wittes Schlack

Esmeralda Santiago
Hardcover
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