In 1997, when The Agüero Sisters was published, Cristina Garcia confirmed that her literary subject was multi-generational Cuban-American families with all their conflicts, emotional complexity, and belief in magic and miracles. By the time this novel was published, Garcia was already well known for her first novel, Dreaming in Cuban, which received outstanding reviews when it was published in 1992.
The Agüero Sisters is clearly the work of the same author as Dreaming in Cuban. Not only do the two share a preoccupation with family dynamics, but both novels have justifiably been praised for their unusual and poetic use of language. Garcia wrote poetry before she began her first novel. In an interview in Newsday, Garcia said: "Language is what drives a narrative. If I'm reading a novel and it doesn't engage me sentence by sentence, I won't finish it." She said that she stopped being a journalist because of her love of poetry: ‘‘I first started reading poetry in a serious way when I was about thirty. After that, there was no turning back. It was just this explosion of language and possibility that I hadn't known existed.’’ Throughout The Agüero Sisters her love of language comes through in unforgettable images. Reina recalls her dead mother's throat as ‘‘an estuary of color and disorder.’’ She describes a ‘‘sky collapsing with stars,’’ a refrigerator that coughs ‘‘like a four-pack-a-day smoker,’’ and rain that's ‘‘hard, linear and relentless, like self-important men.’’