Patsi Trollinger's Reviews > The Red Umbrella

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
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Jun 22, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, multicultural-journey
Read in April, 2011

I have a friend whose family fled from Cuba when Castro came to power, and her stories have mesmerized me for years. I keep telling her she needs to write a book, but she has no interest in doing that .... So I was thrilled to discover that someone else has filled that void in children's lit. Christina Gonzalez has managed to communicate some of the horrors that accompanied the political shift without ever swamping her readers in grief. Instead, you develop a personal connection with the teenager Lucia and her little brother Frank, who are sent out of Cuba without their parents and end up as refugees living on a bitterly cold farm in Nebraska with a well-intentioned but sometimes mystified host family. The characters who populate this novel are varied and believable - Americans who welcome refuges and others who shun them, Cubans who admire Castro and others who detest him. There is suspense and, until the end, a lingering question about whether Lucia and Frank will ever be reunited with their parents.
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