Dreaming In Spanish

An Unexpected Love Story in Puerto Vallarta

Non-Fiction - Memoir
292 Pages
Reviewed on 08/02/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite

Dreaming In Spanish: An Unexpected Love Story in Puerto Vallarta by Sara Alvarado is a refreshingly honest memoir about a young woman trying to heal from past substance addictions and sexual traumas. Sara wants to become a better person and stop being a crazy party girl. She finds herself partying nonstop wherever she travels, drinking hard, waking up in strangers’ beds, with cocaine bends, and a continuous loop of destructive behaviors. Suddenly, Sara wakes up to another sexual assault, of which she has no memory. She decides to travel to Mexico, uncertain and scared. Sara starts a new life by getting a job as an English teacher, an apartment with a beautiful ocean view, attending AA meetings, falling in love with a local, and unexpectedly becoming pregnant.

Sara Alvarado takes the reader on a compelling voyage of self-recovery and self-healing. She delves into her spirituality as she struggles to maintain her sobriety. I found myself entirely captured by Sara’s candid writing style and multifaceted story. I loved being reminded continuously throughout her spiritual quest to live in gratitude for the little things and to live with mindfulness. I learned a lot about AA meetings and how they can help someone stay sober and clean. Dreaming In Spanish is an inspiring memoir to help anyone trying to overcome alcoholism, drug addiction, and sexual traumas. It shows that with faith and belief in yourself, you can turn your life around at any given moment. A fantastic and enthralling read!

Laura Schaefer

I am filled with admiration for what Sara accomplished here in telling her story. Witty, raw, vulnerable...and most importantly, so compelling. I couldn't put the book down.

The author did a masterful job of weaving together so many gorgeous threads in this story, including her relationship with her parents, trauma, grappling with addiction, seeing the world through an expanded lens by moving to a new country, intuitive and connected spirituality, confronting inequality, pregnancy, and new motherhood.

While I appreciated the discipline and focus it took to stick to telling us about one particular season of her life, all I wanted when I finished reading this book last night was MORE. Let's all hope Sara chooses to continue telling the tale of her life, her family, and her work in future titles. She so perfectly balanced the plot of her tale with her wise reflections on it.

Sara is a leader and a special soul.

Just wow.

Ann Raschein

Beautifully written with soulfulness and courage!

Barbara Boustead

Loved this book! "Dreaming in Spanish" is an incredible read, a soul-stirring memoir, and love story told with extraordinary authenticity and wisdom. Sara is truly a gifted writer. There will be many who will relate to this story and will now know they are not alone! Sara, you are courageous, compassionate, and loving...And a fierce advocate for social justice and equity for all!

~ Barbara Boustead, author of From 50 to Fabulous: Pivoting to a Life of Joy and Purpose

Tina L.

What I love about this book is that I could understand and identify with so many parts of Sara's life story and it left me with hope for a bright future despite past struggles and obstacles. This is a great book that left me with so much hope and gratitude. This memoir is easy to read and hard to put down!