Xolo Score 4.25/5
¡Andale, Prieta! follows Yasmín Ramirez as she grew up in El Paso, TX. Yasmín’s single mother worked as a customs agent, so she spent much time with her larger-than-life abuela Ita. Yasmín’s Ita teaches her about inner strength, value, and charisma. Through Ita and Yasmin’s journeys ¡Andale, Prieta! praises their matriarchal fortitude and persevering spirit. As well as the impossible task of grieving Ita’s passing from breast cancer.
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
Yasmín’s memoir is filled with resilient and complicated women who endured some of life’s harshest realities to better their children’s lives. Her matriarchal family is very close, especially between mother and daughter, but their relationships are fraught with tension and inherited traumas. Yasmin’s maternal great-grandmother, Máma Lupe, and Ita had a contentious relationship that directly trickles down to each generation. It can be difficult at times to see how the different generations of women in Yasmín struggle to understand each other and cause each other pain. But their love for each other, be it between abuela/granddaughter or mother/daughter, is unshakeable. Yasmín’s family protects each other with the ferocity of an inferno. So it is no surprise that they unintentionally burn each other along the way.
¡Andalé, Prieta! is also a celebration of a family’s multiculturalism. EL Paso is a city where Yasmín navigates the in-between space of being Mexican and American that resonates for the millions of immigrants who oscillate between different identities. Yasmín’s culture and experience speak for themselves in this memoir, but she intentionally explains the title. Yasmín acknowledges the colonialist and colorist history of the word Prieta in her culture and across Latin America. But Yasmín’s grandmother and the loving relationship they shared throughout her life allows Yasmín to reclaim the word and turn this book into one of self-empowerment for other self-identified Prietas who carry a strength and power far unlike anyone else.
¡Andalé, Prieta! is an emotional tribute to the iconic abuelas who raised us with headache and love.
To what extent are there BIPOC leading characters or perspectives?
How well does the author avoid writing BIPOC experiences through the white gaze?
To what extent does the author challenge white-centered beliefs?
How well does the book explore nuances between intersectional identities?