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Publisher's Summary

"All three narrators are Puerto-Rican born and deliver the Spanish passages with musical grace, thereby enhancing an already fine novel." (The Washington Post)

“The narrators’ accents and code-shifting create a vibrant auditory experience. In particular, Guerra’s luscious voice conveys Olga’s transformation from fighter to a compassionate woman as she overcomes dualities and finds wholeness within herself.”–BookPage 

A blazing new talent debuts with the story of a status-driven wedding planner grappling with her absent mother, her glittering career amongst New York’s elite, and her Puerto Rican roots in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

It’s 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo” are bold-faced names in their hometown of New York. Prieto is a popular Congressman representing their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn while Olga is the tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s powerbrokers. 

Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Sure, Olga can orchestrate the love stories of the one percent, but she can’t seem to find her own...until she meets Matteo, who forces her to confront the effects of long-held family secrets....

Twenty-seven years ago, their mother, Blanca, a Young Lord-turned-radical, abandoned her children to advance a militant political cause, leaving them to be raised by their grandmother. Now, with the winds of hurricane season, Blanca has come barreling back into their lives. 

Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream—all while asking what it really means to weather a storm. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

©2022 Xochitl Gonzalez (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

Indie Next Selection for January 2022

Book of the Month Club Selection

"Atmospheric, intelligent, and well informed: an impressive debut."Kirkus, starred review 

"Olga Dies Dreaming is a beautiful force—completely unique in its intricacies yet universal in the characters’ desires to be loved and understood."—Associated Press 

"A fantastically engaging story...Rarely does a novel, particularly a debut novel, contend so powerfully and so delightfully with such a vast web of personal, cultural, political and even international imperatives."—The Washington Post  

Interview: In 'Olga Dies Dreaming,' A Latina Wedding Planner Is Pitted Against the Wishes of Her Absent Mother

'How did we lose sight of the soul of the work that had given us access to some of these places...?'
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  • Olga Dies Dreaming
  • 'How did we lose sight of the soul of the work that had given us access to some of these places...?'

Editor's Pick

An impressive debut and a much-needed voice!
Olga Dies Dreaming* starts out as any run-of-the-mill rom-com would: a successful and self-made Puerto Rican wedding planner to the New York elite is looking for love. Feeling unfulfilled after her latest fling, she meets the intrusive Mateo, whom she finds rude but sexy. The rom-com tropes end quickly, and Xochitl Gonzalez's character-driven story kicks into high gear, unspooling a rich tapestry of topics such as Puerto Rican culture, class, wealth, race, and misogyny. At the heart is Olga’s long-absent activist mother, Blanca, who interrupts the narrative with letters that castigate her children: Olga for her profession, and Olga’s brother for representing their Brooklyn neighborhood catering to the ''capitalist pigs'' as a congressman. Blanca has her reasons for having her left her children to fight for Puerto Rican independence. The audiocast trio offers an irresistibly authentic sabor that will please bilingual listeners. This is an irresistibly warm yet uncompromising listen. —Edwin D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Olga Dies Dreaming

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Funny, romantic, serious, substantial—all of these things and more

It's a mash-up of very readable fiction and insightful contemporary political and cultural observations. Manages to be cheeky and fun without being frivolous, also pointed and passionate without being polemical. Knowing and authentic.

Gonzalez is a good writer and storyteller — this a great yarn.

Things that I enjoyed/resonated with me: snarky observations of lifestyles of the rich, beautiful descriptions of life in an extended family, generational Latinx striving, the challenge of loving problematic parents, and a harrowing look at the exploitation and plunder of Puerto Rico centered on Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

I’m tickled that this is being made into a pilot for Hulu, can’t wait to watch.

12 people found this helpful

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Wow!

I loved everything about this book, it’s accuracy of the culture, the ability to educate me and have invested in Olgas life! I was hooked immediately and finished in two days. The Narrator did an amazing job of bringing you into every chapter. I have already suggested to all of my friends.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent book and performance

Takes a lot for me to want to write a five star review. However this novel really earns that recognition.

The story, the characters, and their journeys are so powerful. I loved how the author explored issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

The performers were FANTASTIC! I’m so grateful they had a variety of narrators to really give each character a unique voice. They were all excellent.

5 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written story of joy intertwined with pain

This was a story where you feel the characters pain and joy as they navigate the complexities of their relationships and feelings and confront the many challenges life throws at us. A wonderful reminder of how are our decisions impact so many around us.

4 people found this helpful

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Excelente!

Nací y me crié en Puerto Rico y aún resido en esta pequeña isla. No tengo palabras para expresar el agradecimiento a esta excelente escritora. Las penurias que hemos pasado los puertorriqueños…fueron descritas magistralmente… y al fin… la luz al final del túnel. Gracias!

3 people found this helpful

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Fresh, unusual, compelling!

I really enjoyed this novel, which approaches social and political issues vary directly but also introduces a very likable protagonist and a narrative thrust that I was compelled to follow through to the end. It makes me want to know a lot more about the history of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico politics, the independence movement, and related issues.

3 people found this helpful

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underdeveloped characters

enjoyed listening to it as a kind of soap while I did stuff around the house. Lots of good ideas and characters but felt these were underdeveloped. same with the plot-- so much going on, but painted in broad strokes rather than delved into.

3 people found this helpful

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Brava

This is not a novel. This was my life. Gracias. Pedro was a dear friend.

1 person found this helpful

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A definite yes

A great mix of historical fact and fiction. I couldn't stop listening. Well read.

1 person found this helpful

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great

I enjoyed this more than I expected. The narrators both did a great job with this novel.

1 person found this helpful

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