From Library Journal
Garcia's first novel is about Cuba, her native country, and three generations of del Pino women who are seeking spiritual homes for their passionate, often troubled souls. Celia del Pino and her descendants also share clairvoyant and visionary powers that somehow remain undiminished, despite the Cuban revolution and its profound effect upon their lives. This dichotomy suffuses their lives with a potent mixture of superstition, politics, and surrealistic charm that gives the novel an otherworldly atmosphere. Garcia juggles these opposing life forces like a skilled magician accustomed to tossing into the air fiery objects that would explode if they came into contact. Writing experimentally in a variety of forms, she combines narratives, love letters, and monologs to portray the del Pinos as they move back and forth through time. Garcia tells their story with an economy of words and a rich, tropical imagery, setting a brisk but comfortable pace. Highly recommended.- Janet W. Reit, Univ. of Vermont Lib., Burlington
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A patchwork of incident, memory, letters, dreams and visions provides glimpses of a Cuban family at home and in exile in the '70's and '80's, but Garcia's debut suffers from its fragmented style. From disparate times, places, and (mostly female) points-of- view, Garcia reveals the circumstances and inner lives of various members of the del Pino family. Widowed matriarch Celia--who loved and lost a Spaniard, then married and went crazy--still lives near Havana, fulfilled at last by her active participation in Communist activities and quasi-erotic loyalty to El L¡der, Fidel Castro. Daughter Felicia--who talks like a Garc¡a Lorca poem--suffers episodes of violent insanity and amnesia, then seeks healing through the African-derived religion Santer¡a. Meanwhile, Felicia's twin daughters repudiate her while her son Ivanito becomes a mama's boy. Celia's son Javier works in Czechoslovakia. Daughter Lourdes fled Cuba with her husband, opened the Yankee Doodle Bakery in Brooklyn, and thrives on American life, quickly embracing cold weather, capitalism, and prejudice. Her father, Jorge (Celia's husband), who died in New York following cancer treatment, continues to manifest himself to her. Lourdes's artistic daughter Pilar paints a scandalous punk Statue of Liberty and has psychic conversations with Celia. After a Santer¡a-inspired vision, Pilar convinces Lourdes to return to Cuba for a reunion. Garcia explores Cuban culture and illustrates the dislocations of a family, but the novel--told through interior visions rather than action--lacks sufficient freshness of insight to be consistently compelling. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.