Title: Ordinary Girls
Author: Jaquira Díaz
Page Count: 336
Publishing Date/Publisher: October 29, 2019 by Algonquin Books
Review: Every so often I get in the mood to read memoirs. I am especially interested in coming-of-age stories, so this one immediately appealed to me when I read the synopsis. I did enjoy the book, especially the parts that took place in Puerto Rico, but I found that Díaz jumps around too much in the chronology for my personal taste. As a reader I found myself getting frustrated by the tangents she would go on in the midst of telling a story. I find that a lot memoirs take place in snapshots of a life; however in this case it was just too many things at once and it was difficult to get a clear picture.
At the conclusion of this book, I couldn’t help but feel that it was unfinished. It is clear that at some point Díaz pulls herself out of the cycle of poverty and self-loathing she grew up in, but this is not really explored in this memoir. Each time I thought she was going to make it out of the tunnel of darkness, she would throw herself back in. Clearly she achieved her goal of becoming a writer and I just wanted to know more about that journey. I wouldn’t consider this book uplifting or particularly inspiring, but it was very real and didn’t sugarcoat anything. Díaz seems to have a lot of self-awareness in writing this memoir, so it was overall an interesting and revealing read.