DREAMING IN CUBAN-CRISTINA GARCIA REVIEW

“You have to live in the world to say anything meaningful about it.”
Cristina García, Dreaming in Cuban

This book was one that I received for free on BookMooch, which is just an awesome site in general and if you guys haven’t heard of it, I highly suggest you check it out!

Anyway, one of the reasons why I was so excited to read this book was because, being Mexican AND a Spanish major, it’s really hard sometimes to find books written by authors of Latino/a culture. So when I saw this book available, I requested it immediately and am so glad that I did.

This book tells the story of the different generations of a  Cuban family who is divided on both political views and spread across cultures geographically. There are so many characters present, from the grandmother, who is in my opinion the central focus of the story, to the rebellious ex-punk artist granddaughter who is torn between her Cuban heritage and her American roots.

“I’ve started dreaming in Spanish, which has never happened before. I wake up feeling different, like something inside me is changing, something chemical and irreversible. There’s a magic here working its way through my veins. I’m afraid to lose all this, to lose Abuela Celia again. But sooner or later I’d have to return to New York. I know now it’s where I belong – not instead of here, but more than here. How can I tell my grandmother this?”
Cristina García, Dreaming in Cuban

One of the things that I absolutely adore about this book is the amount of detail present. Not only detail in the setting or even in the culture, which alone is fantastic. But the detail in the amount of differences between characters and the shift in tone for each perspective is so well done and does not detract from the novel at all.

“Mirrors are for misery, nothing more…they record decay.”
Cristina García, Dreaming in Cuban

The plot itself is kind of absent? Mostly this book reads as a collection of thoughts and experiences of the multiple characters. The time jumps that occur can also be confusing as well, because when reading from one character’s perspective in one moment, all of a sudden you are jumping years ahead or behind without much explanation.

Even then, I believe that this novel is one of the most interesting, thorough, and well detailed books that I have read in the New Year. I am sincerely looking forward to reading more of Cristina Garcia’s work.

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