by Kathy Cano-Murillo
What a fun, fun, book! I won it last year on Goodreads and just got around to reading it. Partly because I wanted to read something funny and partly because I really need inspiration to get creative and most fiction revolving around crafting is geared toward 70 year old ladies!
I’m so mad at myself for waiting so long, because I loved it. La Pachanga restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona serves great Mexican food and acts as and art space for local artists. Estrella “Star” Esteban, whose family owns the business, acts as its biggest champion and marketer. A little flighty, she sees herself as an artist as well, but leans more toward fine art and hates anything “crafty” that involves glitter. One night Star makes a series of bad decisions and her parents give her an ultimatum to get her life together and commit to something.
Ever the crafty (pun intended) one, Star puts a plan in motion that brings together and unlikely cast of characters to participate in a national craft competition that could prove lucrative for La Pachanga, including her best friend, Ofelia, a wife and mother who escapes her stressful life (and mother-in-law drama) by crafting to the point of obsession and her new acquaintance, Chloe Chavez, a local television personality , known for her craft segments and aims to be the next Martha.
Waking Up In the Land of Glitter reminded me how much I love reading popular fiction by Latina authors. The inclusion of the diversity of Mexican and Hispanic culture make the story so much richer and I learned a lot. That makes a great book to me. The author is an accomplished crafter and you can see her incredible work at CrafyChica.com. She even includes instructions to make some of crafts featured in the back of the book. Her second novel, Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing is due out in March and you can guarantee that I’ll be the first in line to buy a copy!