After a childhood of deprivation and heartbreak in 1940s Puerto Rico, Felicidad Hildago believes herself unloved and forgotten—even by God. Then one afternoon she meets Aníbal Acevedo. Aníbal, visiting his family on the island, is not in need of a wife, but how can an ordinary man resist a beautiful woman in distress? Soon, they are married and living in 1952 Chicago. Yet, If I Bring You Roses is more than a love story, it is also a story about how class and ethnic discrimination impact relationships between men and women. The reader is immersed in the Puerto Rican culture
both on the island and in the Chicago neighborhood where Felicidad moves
to be with Anibal. The two young people must learn to
navigate not only the cold, unknown terrain of Chicago but a
frighteningly unfamiliar and constantly changing future.
Marisel's book signing on August 20, 2011 was selected as a Critics' Pick by TimeOut Chicago. Actors Alyssa Vera Ramos (the author's daughter) and Alex Tey performed a dramatic reading of Chapter 24.