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The Price of Paradise Kindle Edition
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|Length: 374 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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About the Author
Susana López Rubio was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1978. She is a screenwriter who wrote the popular television adaptation of the novel The Time In Between by María Dueñas. She writes short stories for adults and children.
Achy Obejas is the author of The Tower of the Antilles, the critically acclaimed novels Ruins and Days of Awe, and three other books of fiction. Her poetry chapbook, This Is What Happened in Our Other Life, was both a critical favorite and a bestseller. As a translator, she has worked with Junot Díaz, Wendy Guerra, Rita Indiana, and many others. In 2014 she received the USA Ford Fellowship from USA Artists for both her writing and her translations. She’s written for, among others, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Village Voice, In These Times, and the Chicago Tribune, where she was part of a 2001 Pulitzer Prize–winning team. Born in Havana, she currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Made it through 61% of the book before returning to the bookstore in an attempt to figure out why "Price" had been presented on the First Reads page as "historical fiction". It was then that I saw, next to the "#1 Best Seller" mini-banner, reference to the book as "20th Century Historical Romance". [May 9 update: interestingly, I see the mini-banner reference has been changed to "Family Saga Fiction", better, thanks, but still symptomatic of Romance Genre Denial 😉]
Now I get it.
I reckon I've fallen victim of my own expectations. Sorry, but injecting little scenes with Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, and dropping only the >names< of Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Fulgencio Batista doesn't qualify the book for membership in the Historical Fiction genre. My opinion, of course.
Now along comes the very well written The Price of Paradise to give us a glimpse of events and life in Cuba during recent decades. Very timely. Very informative. A good read which provides a good education.
The reader is offered endless, worshipful details of a *department store* of all things! Cuba herself seemed relegated to being mere backdrop. Too bad. At the time that I all-too-eagerly chose this book as my freebie of the month, it was described as an historical novel. That was the basis of my interest.
To be fair, initially I found the character Patricio likeable, but not enough to hang around for more than a few chapters. The character Gloria is unconvincing at best.
The premise of the story line sounded good, but as it unfolded it struck me both as unappealing and unbelievable. The cameos of movie stars--especially that Ava Gardner nonsense--were silly. That's when I gave up. Bothering with this book was a waste of my precious reading time. Period. I deleted it, permanently.
I was taken to Cuba as a little girl after World War Two.
I'm 76 now and would love to visit one more time.
This book brought back so many wonderful memories of my family.
Still remember my visit to Cuba as a little girl with many pictures to remind me.
It was for me a wonderful fantasy read.
Thank you. Ruth Quintana Baldwin
Perhaps it was a better book in Spanish; I might have preferred to read the original, but couldn't get it. But maybe it was just the escapism, and right-wing nostalgia that made me want to leap whole pages? And don't try to convince me that Battista's Cuba was wondrous for everyone.
Top international reviews
The fact that it opens with Patricio's narrative cleverly sidestepped any gender bias that might have crept into my psyche and before long I was lost in the heat of a Cuban summer, breezing through the fates of the characters with page-turning gusto!
It is a bit of a fairytale, with a number of coincidences and slices of fortune and the ending is lovely but a bit too neat.
The real attraction are the characters and the wish to see what happens to them next.
The villain,Cesar is one for the ages. Nasty through and through.
Putting aside the historical context, as truer or not, the story got me.
Even if in some parts it felt rushed and "forced" with the classical "when love strikes like lightning", I enjoyed A LOT how afterwards everything bid its time. Taking months, years to go from one stage to another as the various political, historical and other dramas unfolds.
The final ending was expected, though it come after a few unexpected turns and twist.
I good book I'd recommend.
The real love affair was the writer's own with Cuba; I now have to visit Cuba because of this book!