I recently read Dominicana by Angie Cruz, originally published in 2019. The film is an intimate, feminist story revolving around a 15-year-old girl, who suddenly finds herself married to a brute in mid-’60s New York City. To me, a lot of it felt a feminist take on the old Rapunzel narrative, updated for the 21st-century reader. Here are ten quotes from the book that particularly stood out to me.
When you fall in love, you have to play it out even if everyone calls you crazy. That’s why they call it falling. We have no control over it.
If a person seems inflexible, yield, then slip in sideways and get what you want.
I look at my feet. I hold back my tears, slump my shoulders, and retreat just enough to show deference. I have learned a lot from growing up with animals.
Welcome, Anita, to the club of mothers. Only we know what it’s like to carry another human being. At first it’s the size of a pea, then a grape, an apple, an avocado, then it’s as big as a papaya. To think something so big comes out of something so small. When I had my first one, ugh, I thought it would kill me, but I pushed and pushed, ready to die for the baby that I already loved like I’ve never loved anything else before. It’s extraordinary to stand on the edge of life and death. You’ll see. You’ll see.
How many women get to choose who to marry and can truly dictate their own life? As God is my witness, my daughter will have choices.
Dreaming is good to do when you’re sleeping. But as long as we’re awake, nobody wants to go hungry.
I don’t care if I die right there. I want him to thrust inside of me forever. Let this be our last day. Let us die right here.
Love, love, love. What good is it, if it can’t put food on the table.
To be angry and not have the power to control your life. To not feel safe. To depend on a person who reminds you how they can hurt you, even kill you, at their whim. I understand.
To love you has blinded me from paying attention to my goals. Somehow love has made me soft and stupid.