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When Tito Loved Clara: A Novel
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Published:
Workman Publishing 2011
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Description
A moving and dramatic novel of a suburban wife and mother whose past comes back to haunt her . . .

Clara Lugo has escaped her difficult and tumultuous childhood in a Dominican neighborhood in the northern reaches of Manhattan. Now she tries to live a settled professional life with her American husband and son in the suburbs of New Jersey—often thwarted by Clara's constellation of relatives who don't understand her gringa ways.

Her mostly happy life is disrupted, however, when Tito, a former boyfriend from fifteen years earlier, reappears. He still carries a torch for Clara, and she harbors a secret from their past. Their reunion sets in motion an unraveling of both of their lives—and reveals what assimilation, or the absence of it, has cost them both . . .

"Michaud's quiet account of a foundering marriage and his forays into the mind of an abused child and her adult self are perfectly done." —Booklist
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/08/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781616200558
ASIN:
B00480P7SS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jon Michaud. (2011). When Tito Loved Clara: A Novel. Workman Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jon Michaud. 2011. When Tito Loved Clara: A Novel. Workman Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jon Michaud, When Tito Loved Clara: A Novel. Workman Publishing, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jon Michaud. When Tito Loved Clara: A Novel. Workman Publishing, 2011. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:47:58
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Jon Michaud is the head librarian at the New Yorker and a regular contributor to newyorker.com. His short stories have been published in North American Review, Denver Quarterly, Fawlt, and other journals. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and their two sons.
      • name: Jon Michaud
imprint
Algonquin Books
publishDate
2011-03-08T00:00:00-05:00
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title
When Tito Loved Clara
fullDescription
A moving and dramatic novel of a suburban wife and mother whose past comes back to haunt her . . .

Clara Lugo has escaped her difficult and tumultuous childhood in a Dominican neighborhood in the northern reaches of Manhattan. Now she tries to live a settled professional life with her American husband and son in the suburbs of New Jersey—often thwarted by Clara's constellation of relatives who don't understand her gringa ways.

Her mostly happy life is disrupted, however, when Tito, a former boyfriend from fifteen years earlier, reappears. He still carries a torch for Clara, and she harbors a secret from their past. Their reunion sets in motion an unraveling of both of their lives—and reveals what assimilation, or the absence of it, has cost them both . . .

"Michaud's quiet account of a foundering marriage and his forays into the mind of an abused child and her adult self are perfectly done." —Booklist
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 15, 2010
        Michaud, the head librarian at the New Yorker, writes well at the sentence level, but unconvincing characters and soap-operatic plot twists mar his debut about a resilient Dominican-American woman. Clara Lugo lives with her husband, Thomas, and their son, Guillermo, in the New Jersey suburbs and desperately wants another child, but can't conceive. Thomas, meanwhile, laid off from his job six months earlier, has lost his confidence. Clara's 16-year-old niece, Deysie, who has recently moved in with the Lugos, turns out to be pregnant by Clara's sister's ex-con boyfriend. Then Clara's old high school boyfriend, Tito Moreno, reappears. When Clara and Tito, who has failed to move on after their brief tryst 15 years earlier, try to resolve some unfinished personal business, hurtful revelations promise to change the course of both their lives. Despite Clara's complicated family drama, Tito's unhealthy obsession with Clara, and a subplot with the seedy ex-con, the story fails to garner any emotional weight. Author tour.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 1, 2011

        A youthful dalliance between the children of feuding Dominican immigrants has unexpected late-life repercussions when their paths cross again.

        Abducted by her father and taken to New York where her stepmother abuses her and her domineering father closets her at home, Clara Lugo saw college as her ticket to freedom. Come the end of senior year, Clara, much to the consternation of Tito, vanishes. Tito, who has never married or progressed, still lives with his parents and entertains fantasies of family life. Tito's day job as a mover takes him to the home of Clara's high-school mentor, Ms. Almonte, who hires him. But when one of the movers steals a bangle, Tito makes it his personal mission to return the jewelry. The thief happens to be Clara's sister's ex-boyfriend as well as the father of Clara's niece's unborn child—just one of many circumstances that, at the time of Tito's reappearance in her life, make Clara's life Geraldo Rivera–complicated. Her sister, as yet unaware of the child's paternity, has just left for the Dominican Republic, leaving her daughter with Clara. Clara herself is undergoing fertility procedures after she and Thomas fail to have a second child. Not only does Tito's search for the bangle uncover Clara, but also Thomas' infidelity. Colorful characters abound, but lengthy digressions on, for example, Thomas and Clara's meeting in library school, Thomas's career as a librarian and Tito's directionless man-child existence bleed the focus. The unwieldy plot never coheres and culminates in an implausible ending.

        Stacked coincidences, elliptical chronology and uneven character development detract from a lively novel with themes centered on immigrant experience and identity.

        (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2011

        For 15 years, Tito Moreno has carried a torch for Clara Lugo, his lost love. Shortly after high school graduation, Clara escaped an abusive home in their New York City Dominican neighborhood and completed her education. Now she lives in the suburbs, married with a child, working as a librarian, while Tito, still living with his parents, is in the same dead-end job he had in high school. Alternating chapters follow both protagonists through the crises that will briefly reunite them. At the same time, in each chapter there is a flashback to their childhoods and the events that separated them. This bittersweet first novel by the head librarian at the New Yorker creates a vivid if somewhat depressing portrait of the Dominican emigre community in this tale with no genuine happy endings. Nonetheless, the author has drawn an indelible portrait of a woman doggedly overcoming every obstacle in her path. VERDICT With the popularity of Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, this novel will attract those interested in reading about the hardships of life for emigrants from the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands. [See Prepub Alert, 11/8/10.]--Andrea Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2011
        New Yorker librarian Michauds first novel displays significant but uneven talent. Its emotional insight and character development are first rate, but its lack of structure and pacing diminish their power. Clara Lugo, a Dominican immigrant who grew up in a troubled home in the upper reaches of Manhattan, has escaped that world for comfort and suburbia. Her already crumbling idyll, though, is further shaken when her pregnant teenage niece is put in her care, a development that adds more strain to Claras fraught marriage and more piquancy to her fertility problems. When Tito, a high-school boyfriend with a lasting obsession, disruptively re-enters her life, things seem at a breaking point. Michauds quiet account of a foundering marriage and his forays into the mind of an abused child and her adult self are perfectly done. He also sets up some intriguing conflicts and even an accessory murder mystery plotline. Unfortunately, the interest generated by his successes is squandered as the plot circles slowly, the manifold flashbacks stagnating the whole as Michauds acuity overwhelms itself.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
A moving and dramatic novel of a suburban wife and mother whose past comes back to haunt her . . .

Clara Lugo has escaped her difficult and tumultuous childhood in a Dominican neighborhood in the northern reaches of Manhattan. Now she tries to live a settled professional life with her American husband and son in the suburbs of New Jersey—often thwarted by Clara's constellation of relatives who don't understand her gringa ways.

Her mostly happy life is disrupted, however, when Tito, a former boyfriend from fifteen years earlier, reappears. He still carries a torch for Clara, and she harbors a secret from their past. Their reunion sets in motion an unraveling of both of their lives—and reveals what assimilation, or the absence of it, has cost them both . . .

"Michaud's quiet account of a foundering marriage and his forays into the mind of an abused child and her adult self are perfectly done." —Booklist
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