Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros(author of The House on Mango Street) is told from the point of view of young Lala(Celaya) the granddaughter of the “Awful Grandmother,” Soledad and her love, “the Little Grandfather,” Narciso.
The story begins with Lala describing the yearly family trips during the summer; including the long drive from Chicago to Mexico with her whole family, bunched into three cars. She continues to explain her familial adventures from her fear of the Awful Grandmother, to her father’s secret past he has yet to reveal.
At a dramatic climax, where Lala’s parents have a heated argument in public, Cisneros ends that portion of the story with, “Then Father does something he’s never done in his life. Not before, nor since.” There beginning part two.
In part two of the story, Celaya tells the story of her “Awful Grandmother,” with help from Soledad herself. The two go back and forth saying portions of Soledad’s hard life.
I’ve yet to finish this book yet, I’m about half way through. I had planned to return it this week, but I’ve still got half the way to go, and I just can’t put it down! Caramelo is 435 pages of Mexican history, family history and excitement of what life and love is. A great read for summer, or any season.