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Book Reviews

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Waiting for Snow in Havana 

By Carlos Eire

Haunting and whimsical, what I loved about this memoir is its story-telling. The author expertly unravels the beauty of his youth, and how the rug was pulled out from under him as la Revolución took over. His tone is equal parts poetic and wistful, where vivid images etch themselves in your mind. 


Throughout the tale is the dark undercurrent of disillusionment; desengaño.


“They threw me as far as they could, and so it was that I was driven into exile, along with my older brother. Threw me across the turquoise sea, all the way to our own Egypt, all the way to the United States, the vault of everlasting illusion,” (88). 


You will love this book if you want to know more about Cuba’s devastating history, its beauty, and its people. The characters are as deep and diverse as the sea; the imagery, stark. It is a story full of passion. Something that the author tells us about Cubans is that they are loud, mourning as vocally as they celebrate. 


Read this book if you want to see Havana, pre-Revolution, through the eyes of a child. Rampant with beauty, danger, and injustice, the author holds nothing back in unveiling a Havana that no longer exists. Witness the after-math of what was meant to be a temporary solution for 14,000 children. The result? An endless exile. 


- memoir

- anti-communist

- themes of exile, loss, and redemption

- imagery: lizards, turquoise seas, tangerine sunsets
- intricate and deep characters

- tone of a childhood lost, as the now-grown author seeks peace for a life lost

- hauntingly beautiful, reminiscent of Isabel Allende's magical realism

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