Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dreaming in Cuban: Colorful, evocative story of post-revolution Cuba

Dreaming in Cuban Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

My rating:
3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book of a Cuban family and the way they adapt to the revolution and its aftereffects. I believe it's the first book I've ever read about Cuba.

The plot jumps around a great deal, as do the character perspectives...each chapter is told by a different person, sometimes in first person and sometimes in third person. This is not my favorite style for a book, but I tolerated it. Towards the middle of the novel, I was longing for a more straightforward book.

Garcia paints the setting of Cuba well, and she describes the odd combination of austerity, politics, color and fauna, the sea, insanity, and magic that is Cuba now and before the revolution. Garcia's characters seem cursed and unhappy--this is not what I would call an uplifting book--they are constantly seeking happiness and fulfillment but do not know where to turn. They turn away from each other, though, that's for sure. The two sisters and brother and their spouses, the mother who is longing for her lost lover, the father who tries to break his wife's spirit, and the grandchildren who feel they have lost something unidentifiable...the family ties are extremely fragile and tenuous, which made me very sad.

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