Vivir El Dream

Allison K.

Told from the perspectives of a college student, her mother, and an unemployed businessman, “Vivir El Dream,” tells a story about race, equality, and love.  Juanita brought her daughter Linda to the United States at the age of three to escape an abusive marriage.  Now years later, still undocumented, she wonders if she can ever live a life free from worry.  In her last year of college, Linda faces the struggle between staying safe and speaking up for what she believes.  

After months of searching for employment, Tim accepts a mechanic job at a garage on the “wrong” side of town, driving the wedge even deeper between him and his wife.  When one event catapults the three together, it changes their lives in an instant.  Faced with the consequences, each must decide what is important and how far they will go for those they love.

“Vivir El Dream” gives a beautiful glimpse into the hardships and determination of an undocumented family and shows that the value of life is not defined by one’s status.  Ms. Garcia brings to light an important issue, giving the reader a glimpse into the life and heart of one family living in the United States as undocumented immigrants.  Although each character has a distinct voice, the addition of Tim’s point of view stunted the plot and did not add much to the book.  In addition, the constant disparaging of both races from either side added animosity that took away from an otherwise compelling story.  The ending, though, brings the reader into the heart of the novel: the strength of a mother’s love, the power of faith, and the importance of never giving up.

Amy Cefoldo