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Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

Dreaming in Cuban (1992)

by Cristina Garcia

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This novel moves between Cuba and the United States featuring three generations of a single family. The novel focuses particularly on the females—Celia del Pino, her daughters Lourdes and Felicia, and her granddaughter Pilar. While most of the novel is written in the third person, some sections are written in the first person, and letters are also included. The novel is not told in linear fashion; it moves between characters and jumps in time.
The novel’s central themes include family relationships, exile, the divisiveness of politics, and memory. Cuban history and culture are important in the novel, including important historical events and the elements of Santería that appear throughout the novel.

I enjoyed this novel because for me specifically, growing up Cuban, there were many things that were familiar in the telling of this story. What I didn't like about the book (and what I don't like about books that do this) is the flip flopping back and forth between both Characters and Time. I have difficulty reading stories like that.

That being said, this book is a worthy read. ( )
  DVerdecia | Jan 29, 2016 |
Wonderful book. Very well written! ( )
  CocacolaGirl | Jun 24, 2014 |
I really hated this book the first time I read it. I've been reading it a second time, and challenging myself to find valid reasons not to like it. I've half succeeded--I think it's entirely too accepting, if not exalting, of certain basic socioeconomic realities of the world we live in--, but I've also enjoyed it more than the first time around. Pilar is a likable and relatable character, and her coming of age as it plays out in these pages is compelling and, I've concluded, altogether worth my time. It's also a good book to relate back to the Latin American Boom novels, since Garcia herself affirmed that she kept One Hundred Years of Solitude on her desk as she wrote this. It's obviously more "easy" or "accessible" than some of those novels, but maybe it wouldn't have really made sense to write a high modernist novel in 1992 either. So yes, I continue to have my issues with Dreaming in Cuban, but I've enjoyed trying to get to the bottom of some of those issues through this book. I guess the main reason I don't like it is that Pilar seems to "sell out" a bit more than even the author wants to believe she has, or to embrace the ways of the world for what they are because she's too tired to fight them any longer, when she's only 21 years old when the book ends. ( )
  msjohns615 | Oct 10, 2013 |
I really like this book. It’s about culture shock and cultural assimilation, and about the connections between people in different times and places. There are some especially great older characters. ( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 25, 2013 |
i read this a long time ago. i liked it... ( )
  julierh | Apr 7, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345381432, Paperback)

"Remarkable...An intricate weaving of dramatic events with the supernatural and the cosmic...Evocative and lush...A rich and haunting narrative, an excellent new voice in contemporary fiction."
Now available in a Spanish language edition from Ballantine Books.
Here is the dreamy and bittersweet story of a family divided by politics and geography by the Cuban revolution. It is the family story of Celia del Pino, and her husband, daughter and grandchildren, from the mid-1930s to 1980. Celia's story mirrors the magical realism of Cuba itself, a country of beauty and poverty, idealism and corruption. DREAMING IN CUBAN presents a unique vision and a haunting lamentation for a past that might have been.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A vivid and funny first novel about three generations of a Cuban family divided by conflicting loyalties over the Cuban revolution, set in the world of Havana in the 1970s and '80s and in an emigre neighborhood of Brooklyn. It is a story of immense charm about women and politics, women and witchcraft, women and their men.… (more)

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