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Luz by Luis Gonzalez
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Recently added bypife43, jenniebooks, lulaa, jblazarte
Cuba (1) Kindle (1) memoir (1) to-read (2)

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A clever, stylish, seamless blend of mystery and historical reality, Luis Gonzalez’s ‘Luz’ is one of those unforgettable literary achievements that so rarely come out of Kindle’s woodwork. It is a sweeping, majestic narrative that is all the more compelling because of its setting: Cuba, 1994, a time of frenzied turmoil.

At its heart, ‘Luz’ is about a heart-breaking story of a people who only want to escape the murderous oppression of their government. In Cuba, people who are fed up with the oppressive regime of Fidel Castro cook up a lot of ways to flee their country, even at the risk of their own lives and those of their loved ones. But for a young woman named Clara—a faceless one among many other Cubans whose one single dream is finding freedom just across the sea, in the USA—all the risks are worth taking just to have that one shot at freedom. Convincing her husband and a few friends, Clara is all set to flee their small, sleepy fishing village of Cojimar and brave the risk to life and limb just to reach the shores of the USA. But as fate would have it, Clara receives a mysterious visitor on the very eve of their supposed departure—a visitor that baffles and confuses her and, ultimately, convinces her to make a decision that will set off a cascade of consequences that are both heart-breaking to witness and mind-blowing.

Luis Gonzalez writes with a prose that’s so pleasing to “inhabit”—he reminds me strongly of the best aspects of, for example, Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Jose Saramago. The build-up to the climax, how the characters interact with one another, how each character’s personality and eccentricities are “sinewed” with verisimilitude, how even the fantasy elements (with a tinge of the religious) can be deeply believable and just emotionally resonate with the aspirations of the lead characters—all these wrapped up in a package that will hit you like a punch in the gut. The author’s writing style is distinct: just when you think Gonzalez has chosen the slow burn instead of the flashy one-punch, he surprises you with a twist that leaves your mouth hanging open—and compels you to turn the pages for more.

What’s more, if all you know about Cuba is what’s written in textbooks or shown on the news, then ‘Luz’ will open your eyes and make you “live” under the skin of those who are unfortunate enough to live under the Castro regime. Overall, I love this book to shreds. ‘Luz’ is a literary achievement you must not miss. Get a copy of this book today. A solid five-star rating for this one. ( )
  jblazarte | Feb 25, 2014 |
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