Angie Cruz’s Let it Rain Coffee

Let it Rain Coffee is a fragmented novel, intersected with many flashbacks. It narrates the lives of the Colóns, a family who migrated from the Dominican Republic to New York.  The novel not only brings out the collective memory but also attempts to retell historical facts in the Dominican Republic during Trujillo’s era. Though it is a difficult period for Dominicans historicize, Let it Rain Coffee retells history from a feminine postcolonial perspective.

In one of the passage, Esperanza and Don Chan talk about memory, forgetting and the rewriting of history.

– … you don’t remember anything it was. You’re rewriting history.
– But what do you mean Don Chan couldn’t rely on his own mind? What had he forgotten?
– It’s past. It’s doesn’t matter.
– The past visits me every day. It matters me, Don Chan said.

 

As the narrative deals with the fractures of the Dominican Republic, one of the historical facts that appear to be part of a dream or a blurred memory is the allusion to the pronunciation of the word perejil and the hate that was spread in the D.R’s population. The massacre of  Haitians in the Dominican Republic and the strategy to force them to pronounce the word perejil to identify the aliens turns into a painful past that haunts D.R. Angie Cruz’s novel constantly asks what it means to be black, a foreigner, Haitian or Dominican?

By attempting to cope with a painful history, some characters realize that hate, which was part and parcel of Trujillo’s politics, is an infectious disease, has contaminated the nation.

When Don Chan talks to his dead son about hate, the old man remembers the damages hate can cause. He asks for his forgiveness. Let it Rain Coffee is a cathartic novel about pain and healing as many others postcolonial attempts of historical rewriting.

 

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