My husband (James) and I learned about this book and author via the National Anti-Racist Book Festival this past spring. The title of this book intrigued us as James teaches several classes about coffee and often does community presentations and tastings. The author takes the title of the book from the song "Ojalá que llueva café" by Juan Luis Guerra, a song that James often plays for his students.
Cruz's novel tells the story of the Colón family, immigrants to New York City from the Dominican Republic. Most of the story takes place in 1990s New York, but there are also flashbacks to 1960s Los Llanos, DR and stories of the resistance.
In their crowded New York apartment the Colón family faces challenges of debt, death, incarceration, and racism. When a young, pregnant friend (Hush) moves in with the Colóns young Bobby learns lessons in community and love. Hush passes her time confined to the Colon's couch propped up on pillows and reading books from the library. Bobby is glad to pay her overdue fines, and to pile "the books on her left to the library" and pile "the books she was about to read on her right...He fed her books in exchange for seeing her thank him with a half smile."