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382 pages, Paperback
First published February 6, 2018
Elisa Perez, daughter of a sugar baron in Cuba, had a vastly different life from her granddaughter, Marisol Ferrera.
"I promised I would never see you again."
"So this is good-bye, then?"
We are useless birds in a gilded cage...But soon, the Cuban rebellion against Batista impacts even her quiet, sheltered life - in the form of one, unforgettable revolutionary.
Pablo leans into me...My heartbeat thrums, equal parts nerves and anticipation running through my veinsMany years later, Marisol is tasked with returning to Cuba to scatter her grandmother (Elisa)'s ashes.
It's funny how that little step can change everything...And, much like her grandmother, Marisol finds love in an unexpected and rebellious place.
"I am not afraid to die for what I believe in."Oh. My. Gosh. This one just swept me off my feet.
"Maybe not, but what does your death accomplish?"
“We carry our home with us in our hearts, laden with hope. So much hope.”
“Love feels like a luxury in a world where so many struggle for the basic things I take for granted.”
“The Americans preach liberty, and freedom, and democracy at home, and practice tyranny throughout the rest of the world.”
“My grandparents are Cuban, my father Cuban, therefore I am Cuban. But will it matter here that my skin is lighter than many of the country’s citizens, that my blood is not fully Cuban? Am I an outsider here or is the ancestry I claim enough?”
“When you love something you don’t count the cost.”
‘Next Year in Havana. It’s the toast we never stop saying, because the dream of it never comes true.’
I can't imagine him in my world, and I certainly don't belong in his. Where does that leave us?
"It's raucous and beautiful, and more than anything, I want to belong here, want this city to become a part of me."
How long will we be gone? When will we return? Which version of Cuba will greet us when we do?
I am Cuban, and yet, I am not. I don’t know where I fit here, in the land of my grandparents, attempting to recreate a Cuba that no longer exists in reality.
“In this moment, I want you. But after that—”
“Then maybe we just have this moment.”
“Is that enough?”
He smiles, a tinge of sadness on his face. “I have a feeling there will never be enough moments with you, Marisol.”
There is no home for us in a world where we can’t speak our minds for fear of being thrown in prison, where daring to dream is a criminal act, where you aren’t limited by your own ability and ambition, but instead by the whims of those who keep a tight rein on power.
We carry our home with us in our hearts, laden with hope. So much hope.