“Wildwood” by Junot Diaz is about a single Dominican mother and her daughter. The story is written from the daughter, Lola’s perspective. In the beginning of the story, the mother is diagnosed with cancer and ends up receiving a double mastectomy. Due to the mother’s and daughter’s unhealthy relationship, Lola runs away to live on the Jersey Shore with her boyfriend and unpleasant father. This doesn’t last too long, as Lola calls her brother, Oscar and asks him to bring money, books and clothes to a nearby coffee shop. Oscar betrays his sister and informs their mother about the meeting. Lola and Oscar’s mother, Belicia de Leon captures Lola and sends her away to Santo Domingo to live with Belicia’s mother. While in Santo Domingo, Lola learns about her mother’s past and understands why her relationship with her mother was so hostile. Based on the title, I expected the story to be about something that dealt with nature. After reading the authors short biography on page 455, I expected the story to be about Junot’s Dominican culture. Reading the first paragraph of the story made me realize that this was not a story about nature and that it was going to be about a mother and daughter who may not have the best relationship. The setting throughout the story changes as Lola runs away from her mother. In the beginning of Wildwood, the story takes place in Paterson, New Jersey. This is where Lola, Belicia, and Oscar live. Towards the middle of the story, the setting changes from Paterson to Wildwood, New Jersey because Lola ran away from home to live with her boyfriend, Aldo. She doesn’t live there long because she is captured by her mother while meeting with her brother at a coffee shop. After capturing Lola, Belicia sends her off to Santo Domingo to live her mother, also known as Abuela. Based on Lola’s interests, I can infer that “Wildwood” takes place in the 1970s. I enjoyed reading this short story. I think what really intrigued me was how the author described the characters in the story. His descriptions of the characters made them seem so real and relatable. I thought it was really interesting how a male author could write so detailed about a relationship between a mother and daughter. Based on the way he writes about women, it’s possible that he might have grown up with a single mother and witnessed a negative relationship between a mother and her daughter. Also, the way he talks about Belicia and Lola shows that Junot thinks highly of women. I think the story is trying to tell the reader that there is a reason for everything. For example, sending Lola to Santo Domingo was not an act of hate but hope. Lola may have seen her move to Santo Domingo as a way for her mother to get rid of her but it seems like it was a way for Lola and Belicia to rekindle their relationship. As stated in the story, Lola was welcome home at any time. 

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