CARAMELO, the gorgeous new novel by Sandra Cisneros, begins with a portrait taken on a summer trip to Acapulco, one of those spontaneous group shots offered by photographers who comb the beach to record memories, real or manufactured. All of the members of the Reyes family are there…all except for Lala, the youngest, forgotten a few yards away as she happily makes sandcastles. And so Lala spends the rest of the book painting a portrait of her own.
It's impossible not to love an author who names her characters "the Awful Grandmother," "Aunty Light-Skin" and "Uncle Old." Cisneros's warm, wry humor has been