EVENINGS AT THE ARGENTINE CLUB
by JULIA AMANTE
Victor and Jaqueline Torres imagined moving to the U.S. would bring happiness and prosperity-instead they found a world of frustration. While Victor put long hours into his restaurant business, Jaqui devoted her life to her daughters, until they grew up and moved on. Even their eldest, Victoria, is torn trying to reconcile being the perfect Argentine daughter and an independent American woman. Antonio and Lucia Orteli face the same realities, especially when their only son Eric leaves their close-knit Argentine community in pursuit of his own dreams.
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Julia Amante, women's fiction author, lives in California in a home filled with bits and pieces of her Argentine heritage. Paintings of Argentine towns. A beautiful leather map with the outline of Argentina. Pictures and trinkets.
However, the real details of her beautiful culture unfolded gradually as she grew up the daughter of Argentine immigrants.
Today, a product of the American Dream, Julia writes emotionally rich stories about family love, and the passion of chasing and achieving life's goals.
Julia is a proud mother and wife, a teacher, and a lover of life and it's many gifts. Following her passion to detail life in writing as well as share the joys of writing with other aspiring writers, Julia is currently pursuing an MFA. Julia has presented workshops at the Latino Book and Family Festival, the Mexican-American Organization Foundation, the Latina Business Women Organization, as well as in colleges such as the University of California, Riverside, Cal. State Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara City College.
READING GROUP GUIDE:
GREAT FOR BOOK CLUBS, HERE ARE QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION.
1. The Argentine Club was the glue that kept all these people together. What do you feel groups such as these do for a community? Does it keep immigrants from becoming Americanized? Or help make the transition easier?
2. Every character in the story was seeking, in some way, to fulfill the American dream. Is the dream still a possibility in this country? If no, what has changed? If yes, is it still the same dream that early immigrants came to this country to achieve?
3. How do you think Victoria’s relationship with her father affected her blossoming relationship with Eric?
4. In Latin America it is not unusual for a child to live with his or her family until marriage, which could be in their thirties. Do you see a problem with children staying to live with their parents longer?
5. As mothers, our jobs are to help our children mature and prepare them to live life on their own. Did Jaqueline perform this job well? Did Lucia?
6. What do you think caused Victoria’s weight issues? Was it simply a lifetime of unhealthy habits, or was there another, more emotional cause? How do you feel that her decision to follow her dreams helped her shed the extra pounds she carried?
7. Did Victoria hold traditional Latino values? How did they affect the way she lived her life? What are traditional Latino values? Is there such a thing?
8. Independence is one of the themes of the book. Are we ever truly independent or is that a myth?
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