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How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water

On sale

15th February 2024

Price: £9.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781399806916

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‘Cruz once again offers a fresh glimpse of immigration, womanhood, aspiration and gentrification . . . told in Cara’s unfailingly frank, sometimes hilarious, voice’ Washington Post

Write this down: Cara Romero wants to work.

When Cara left the Dominican Republic for America, she thought she would work at the factory of little lamps for the rest of her life. But when the Great Recession hits, she is left unemployed and struggling with the rising rent. To survive, Cara must start again.

Set up with a job counsellor, Cara’s future is to be determined through forms and questionnaires. But answer boxes can’t contain her indomitable personality and tempestuous past, and over the course of twelve sessions we learn of her scandals and struggles, hopes and heartbreaks, why she came to America and what really happened to her son.

When everything is lost, sometimes the only way forward is to go back to the start.


Washington Post
Cruz once again offers a fresh glimpse of immigration, womanhood, aspiration and gentrification . . . Twelve sessions with a job counsellor provide the framework for Cruz's endearing portrait of a fierce, funny woman . . . told in Cara's unfailingly frank, sometimes hilarious, voice
Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl, New York Times
A taut and poignant novel centred around a 56-year-old Dominican woman grappling with motherhood, acceptance and loss in the midst of the Great Recession . . . Cruz prioritises the importance of seeing an individual's humanity even within the most impersonal of systems
Publishers Weekly
A tender and quintessentially American portrait
Los Angeles Times
Will have you laughing line after line, even when you wonder if you should be (The answer is always yes! ) . . . Cruz's new novel aims for the heart, and fires
The AV Club
Cruz's latest novel blazes with brilliance, from its first-person character development to its structure to its deliciously slow reveals . . . you can't help but root for Cara
New York Journal of Books
Direct and full of personality . . . turning these pages is like bring invited into a neighbour's kitchen for a good gossip session . . . Cruz has created an unforgettable character in Cara
Irish Examiner
Beautifully written and entertaining
Irish Times
An acerbic look at the effects that gentrification, recession and racial profiling have had on the immigrant experience
Business Post
A story that weaves the impersonal enormity of the system with a deeply personal, believable and engaging narrative . . . By turns hilarious, tender and moving, this short novel packs a mighty big punch