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The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy
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The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Born in Havana in the 1940s, Juan and Alberto Ramos grow up in a wealthy family divided by conflict. Their boyhood yearnings and adventures coincide with Cuba’s revolutionary upheaval of the late Fifties. With instability escalating on the island, the Ramos family makes a heartrending decision. Juan and Alberto’s father chooses to stay in Cuba while the brothers, their nan ...more
Paperback, Alternate Cover Edition, 310 pages
Published 2017 by Blue Cliffs Books (first published December 1st 2011)
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Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story stands on its own as a tale of a mid-century Cuban family, reminiscent of Naguib Mahfouz's The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street, the chronicle one Egyptian family set to the backdrop of political upheaval. Weeks after reading the opening passages, I still catch myself basking in the scenes and scenery of Havana and the Cuban countryside, but to me, the most intriguing aspects of the book are the political overtones. To me, the Ramos family is a microcosm of U ...more
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy is a fantastic novel, exciting and original in the subjects it covers. The history charted in DeBlanck's novel concerns the decades after World War Two. The tension of the Cold War is on the rise. The Cuban Revolution led by Castro slips the island towards communism and Kennedy takes office with the Soviets pushing for world expansion. The Ramos family experiences the height of the Revolution in Cuba. After Castro takes control of the island, the two b ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this heartwarming, touching novel about dealing with how to love again and to forgive. The inseparable Ramos brothers, Juan and Alberto, live through tough years that leave you wishing them to find peace. Their story is a well written account of history and events affecting their family. The book's redeeming story works on your emotions. The book raises many interesting questions in regards to those individuals who make history. The characters of the family are each made to feel incred ...more
Destiny Allison
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy is a lush rendering of the lives of two Cuban brothers during the upheavals in both Cuba and the United States during Castro and Kennedy's rise to power. Told with tenderness, compassion, and reverence for the higher attributes of humanity, it also examines family relationships and brotherly love.

Touching, and rich with the flavors and colors intrinsic to the Cuban community, it is heartfelt and effusive. I look forward to future works from this autho
Suzanne Segal
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I started this book, I felt immediately transported to Havana with the Ramos family. The realness of everything involving them stays with you the entire book. Alberto and Juan are the brothers referred to in the title. You see their rich family engaged in personal conflict. They may have money but money doesn’t make them happy. The family has unresolved tensions between the brothers and their mother. They are also dealing with growing up in Cuba with the Revolution getting under way. This i ...more
Jonathan Sturak
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Juan and Alberto Ramos are brothers, friends, and partners through the ups and downs of the turbulent 1950s and 1960s in Cuba and America. DeBlanck has taken the forty-thousand-foot view we read about in history books and provided us with an intimate view of this time through the lives of the Ramos Brothers.

I read because of characters, and I found myself enthralled in the lives of these boys and their family and friends. Whether it was Lucretia's hypocritical relationship with the boys and the
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book involves readers in the escapades of two brothers when they are coming of age in Cuba. We watch as they grow into maturity. Juan and Alberto are likable young men that grow up in an unusual family. The most interesting and frustrating character is the brother's mother, Lucretia Ramos. As a mother myself, I felt so many emotions towards her. I was both angry and puzzled with her behavior. When she showed signs of changing, I felt great relief. I found myself smiling at some of the funny ...more
Judy Shine Logan
Roger DeBlanck's beautiful book, The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy, reminded me of my early teens when I worried (along with the rest of the world) about Cuban/American relations, and yet, his book made me see and feel the real people and events that created that time and political tension.

The lush explanations and explorations of Cuba and Cubano life, too, were deeply satisfying and DeBlanck's use of Spanish/English word combinations taught me many Spanish words along the way.

The psyc
Nicole McInnes
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE RAMOS BROTHERS TRUST CASTRO AND KENNEDY by Roger DeBlanck strikes me as a meticulously researched novel. The story follows the lives of Alberto and Juan Ramos, brothers who are born and raised in Cuba in the 1940s and 50s. The boys have a loving nanny, an indifferent mother, a caring but busy father and a fierce loyalty to each other. Scenes of Cuban food and architecture, clothes and neighborhoods rushing by outside the windows of a train are drawn in rich detail.

At various points in their
This first novel by Roger deBlanck is a little bit uneven, but I enjoyed the story he tells a lot. In fact I would give the book close to 5 stars for the story itself, but rather closer to 3 stars for aspects of his prose style that I found disconcerting. Regarding the prose style, my basic reaction was “too wordy”. (I admit, if I ever tried writing fiction, wordiness is probably the first mistake I would make too.) It’s likely that a lot of this wordiness could have been cleaned up had a good p ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading historical fiction and it can sometimes be hard to craft a compelling story around real events without sounding like a history textbook. I think the author has done a fantastic job of teaching us about what was happening in Cuba in the 50s and 60s through the emotions of the Ramos family. He starts with such a detailed description of their environment that I could visualize the beauty of Cuba and it served as a stark contrast to the political climate of the time. He cleverly illus ...more
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ramos brothers kept my attention and took me on a historical whirlwind ride. Their story covers so many interesting aspects that transpire inside and outside the family. The author is talented at linking events and people together. The connections reveal themselves over time from Cuba to America with the story always making you feel what's going on in history. The family overcomes a series of obstacles and you experience everything along with them. I see their struggle to hold on to each oth ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very simple review.

1. Happiness and Humor - comparison to the author, Phillip Gulley - Front Porch Tales: Warm Hearted Stories of Family, Faith, Laughter and Love.

2. Love and Deviltry- Good or bad, the Ramos Brothers will come together.

3. Sadness - comparison to Susanna Tamaro - Follow Your Heart.

4. History - Family history and too my memories of Castro visiting Houston, Texas in 1959. Time for me to go and checkout some history on Cuba. Also, I stand corrected, on the use of hair gel in this
Shahab Zargari
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Roger successfully paints a beautiful portrayal of a Cold War era many are soon to forget existed.

The core of the story is how one family comes upon and deals with struggles, and its a most endearing read.

In a day and age where families all read iPhones at the dinner table instead of talking with each other, this book is a very important one. It shows you the importance of family sticking together through the best and worst of times.

Very well written, and amazingly believable. Highly recommend
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an exciting adventure story of a Cuban family that immigrates to America during the revolutionary time of Castro. The life of the Ramos family is intertwined with the history of the times. The descriptions are vivid and poetic. There are insightful reflections about Kennedy and Castro. You will become a part of the Ramos family and the brothers in this novel.
Don Kubicki
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To say it was a pleasure to read this novel would be an understatement. I am not a speed reader so I was able to enjoy the rich, delicate, and detailed descriptions of places and characters in this book. It reminded me of the classic novels that poured life into the language without regard for commercial profitability.
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The very title, The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy, was seductive enough for me to purchase the Kindle version as I have an enduring interest in this fateful era in America history—I was an on-air host of an Afro-Cuban music program for twenty- five years in public radio. The tautly constructed novel immediately placed me into the drama of the years leading up to the Kennedy assassination. The story is told through the two Ramos brothers, Alberto and Juan. They grow up in a relatively w
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having grown up in an affluent neighborhood in Havana, Juan and Alberto Ramos witness the Cuba of their childhood--a Cuba of corrupt government and vast socioeconomic inequality--transform under the aegis of Castro. The more passionate and idealistic of the two, Juan in particular idolizes Castro and trusts that he will lead Cuba in the right direction. Alberto, more thoughtful and artistic, calmly takes everything in its stride. In spite of Castro's promises, Cuba becomes an undesirable place t ...more
Donna Marlo
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book! I read this book on the recommendation of a friend, and was instantly hooked. I love history and love to read, but have never read a historical fiction book. My type of book generally include vampires, mystery, and soppy love stories. The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy took me through the trials and tribulations of what families went through during one of the most pivotal times between Cuba and the US. After reading this book I found myself doing more research on the ...more
s h montgomery
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy is a beautifully written novel, spanning three generations. It begins in Cuba during Batista’s presidency, his overthrow by Castro’s regime, then moves to Miami before and during Kennedy’s presidency. Roger DeBlanck’s vibrant descriptions of Cuba had me there---walking the cobblestone streets, seeing the colorful houses, and smelling the tobacco and coffee of the shops. I learned a lot about the country, its politics, and the Cubans’ way of life during ...more
Idella Mullins
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roger DeBlanck's book, the Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy, a novel, is clear and skillfully written. The Ramos brothers were born in Cuba in the 1940s and moved to the United States in their teens, giving them knowledge of both countries. The brothers had a good life in Cuba before Castro's take over. For example in the book, "A fierce knocking reverberated through the house on New Year's day, 1959. Jolted out of their sleep, The Ramos brothers stumbled from thier beds to the hallway". ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The seamless integration of history with fiction in this novel makes it an enjoyable read for lovers of fact and imagination alike. The imagery of Havana and Miami is very well done, and the amount of research that went in to the novel in the name of historical accuracy is evident. While reading, I found myself engulfed in the lives of the Ramos brothers while simultaneously learning a multitude of things about Castro, Kennedy, and the relations between the US and Cuba in the 50s and 60s. While ...more
Laura Macmillan
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surfing through my TBR pile last night I came across "The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy" and decided to read myself to sleep with it. Bad decision...I was immediately hooked and read until the wee hours of the morning! Even then, I quit reading, not because I wanted, to but because, as I'm working later today and had to get *some* sleep, I had to.

This well researched book about two brothers who grow up in 1940's and 50's Cuba, then emigrate to Miami immediately after the Castro take-ov
Donald Ozello
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the pleasure of meeting the Author, Roger DeBlanck, at a group book signing earlier this year. I purchased his fiction book, "The Sky Buries all Sorrow" at the event. I really enjoyed and thought it was superb.
I bought, "The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy" as a gift. The recipient enjoyed it, therefore I borrowed it as soon as possible.
Great book. The author does a tremendous job. The development of the story and the characters is outstanding. The detailed description of the c
Kimberly Broad
Started great but....

I really loved the story of these two brothers connecting with world leaders and the relationships they forged throughout the novel. I was bothered by the modern approach to Juan's sexuality. Particularly, his mother being a devout Catholic who seems okay with it when she was never okay with anything. His illness seems a bit early in history. I loved how his self awareness of his sexuality was approached but I found the level of acceptance from the people who knew him to be
Matthew William
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. The human drama in the book had me falling in love with the Ramos brothers. I didn't want to stop hearing about their lives. On top of all the wonderful human drama in this story are the historical aspects of the book. I felt like I was reliving the tumultuous times of American history that were going on in the book. It made me appreciate the precarious relationship we have had with Cuba since the 1950s. I highly recommend this book to everyone. ...more
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Roger DeBlanck is the author of four novels: Prayers from the Far Quarter, The Destruction of Silence, The Sky Buries All Sorrow, and The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy. He also has a book of poetry, Empire of the Mind. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a master’s degree in Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He ...more

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