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The Dirty Girls Social Club



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About The Author

Alisa Valdes-RodriguezAlisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist and a former staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

photo: Photo: Anna Peña

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Reading Group Gold

As soon as it was written, The Dirty Girls Social Club began turning heads. The Chicago Tribune reported that the book "set off a bidding frenzy" among publishers. The Associated Press reported that "even people running the copy machines at the major publishing houses just had to read The Dirty Girls Social Club."
It’s no wonder the media is all in a whirl. In this heartfelt and absorbing novel, Valdes-Rodriguez opens up the lives of six upwardly mobile Latina friends in their late 20’s. These women, who come from widely varied backgrounds, meet at Boston University and, after graduating, meet every six months to share their stories. Facing the complications and pressures of everyday lives, the Social Club offers a chance to meet regularly, dish, dine, and help each other over the bumpy course of life and love.
Filled with humor, drama, and the redemptive power of friendship, The Dirty Girls Social Club promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.



1. Lauren spends much of her time feeling inadequate and like an imposter. What do you think these feelings are rooted in?
2. How do you think Rebecca’s husband was raised to view Latinos? How does this impact their marriage? Is his disappointment in her fair, in your opinion?
3. Elizabeth is the only foreign-born of the sucias and yet she spends the least amount of time thinking about her Latin identity. There are two big reasons for this. What do you think they are?
4. Elizabeth does not seem to think her secret and her religion are at odds with one another? Why not? Do you agree?
5. Sara seems to feel some responsibility for what is happening in her home life. Do you agree that she is partly to blame? Why, or why not?
6. How could it be that Sara’s home life and the image her friends have of her could be so different? Why do you think she hid the truth for so long?
7. Why does Gato finally stray in his relationship with Amber? How does Amber react? By contrast, how do you think Lauren might have reacted in the same situation?
8. Why does Usnavys think she needs to find a rich man? What in her past makes her believe this? How does this belief impact her happiness?
9. The sucias, like many groups of friends, seem to end up in sets of two. Who do you think these pairs are, and why do you think they are drawn more to each other than to any of the other friends?
10. The sucias are all Latinas, but they are also of different races, religions and backgrounds. How does this compare to images of Latinas you see in the U.S. media?

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