50 Books by Authors of Color: Book 41
Title: If I Bring You Roses
Author: Marisel Vera
Medium: Book

If I Bring You Roses is one of those books where if you read the back of the book, you’ll feel like it’s very long and arduous. So, I’m going to tell you not to read the back of the book. The story starts out with Felicidad’s mother having a mental breakdown and climbing up on the roof of their one room shack in Puerto Rico. Felicidad, the dutiful daughter takes up her mother’s work, feeding the children, doing the wash, even embroidering well into the night when her hands are blistered. She’s such a good kid, it’s absolutely heartbreaking when her dad decides to send her off to live with her Aunt and Uncle who live in the city.

Felicidad works in the family’s bakery, and by “work” I mean slaves. She is treated relatively well but it is clear that she is not a proper member of the family, and is instead treated as a servant. Her Aunt even insists that she calls her “Senora” instead of Tia. It is while working in the bakery Felicidad meets Anibal. Anibal is a Puerto Rican who has been living in the United States for years who is home to help with his families coffee bean harvest and because his mother has marrying off Anibal off.

Originally, his mother wants him to marry Felicidad, but after meeting with the girl and realizing that she really is more of a servant than a family member, Anibal’s mother is against him marrying Felicidad. Unfortunately, her match making skills have worked too well and Anibal falls hard for Felicidad and marries her.

Giving Felicidad time to spend with her family before moving to the United States, Anibal returns to his old life, one filled with fast women. In his mind, he loves Felicidad, but he continues to believe that he is not ready for a wife, spurning Felicidad when she does arrive. Felicidad, raised to be always obedient and keep the peace, doesn’t know what to think of her formerly passionate husband’s distance and has no idea how to fight for what she wants.

Both Felicidad and Anibal are filled with desire for each other, but they have to fight to figure out what they want from themselves and from each other.

Overall Rating: 4/5


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