Olga Dies Dreaming is a story about a Puerto Rican family that specifically focuses on Olga and her brother Prieto. The story takes us through topics and themes of identity, multicultural upbringing, gentrification in Brooklyn, love, family, and career-building.
Olga is a wedding planner in Brooklyn who works with very rich clients. Prieto is a congressman who works serving his Latinx community while also dealing with the gentrification that is affecting his Brooklyn constituents. Olga and Prieto are raised by their grandmother when their activist mother abandoned them for her radical political pursuits, and after their father died young.
I enjoyed this book, the writing had me hooked from the first line in which we are told about the difference in napkins at a rich person’s wedding versus a lower budget wedding. I did find myself at times wishing the story had a bit faster pace and a bit more focus on a central plot (but this is just my own personal preference in reading fast-paced books). This is a domestic fiction that explores the relationships between Olga and Prieto with their missing mother. We see how the siblings are influenced by her ideas through letters she sent them over the years as they grew up.
The story explores the everyday life and the nuances of balancing out one’s responsibility to their family and community while also intermingling with the 1%, to profit at the possible expense of losing one’s identity and original intent.