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🌟🌟🌟🌟 This book sat on my Kindle at 35% for months, because frankly, the first 3rd of this book is pretty obnoxious. It starts as a whimsical love story between two privileged elites playing at revolution in Bautista-era Cuba in order to relieve themselves of their pampered boredom and exercise their intellectual pretensions. It’s written so fluffily and in such self-absorbed, oblivious voices that the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution almost seems inappropriate, while the romance itself is rather dull.
However, at around the halfway mark, things…change. The characters (and readers) slowly begin to ask themselves what happens when revolution becomes regime, and they begin to make decisions based on the answers they find. What happens when naive idealists don’t love the new reality that they helped create? I went from thoroughly loathing these characters to reading the conclusion with my heart in my mouth, hoping for the best but knowing that the worst could be just around the corner. I wasn’t expecting to, but I really enjoyed this book by the end. The last page was thoroughly satisfying.
Side note: I read this in English, translated from the original Spanish. While there are a few moments where it reads like a translation (“his masculine index fingers stroked my sternum”—yeah, that sounds soooo natural 😂😂😂) for the most part, it’s pretty smooth. I do wonder how it reads in Spanish, though–there are characters from a variety of hispanohablante countries in the book, and references to their accents, but none of that really comes across in the English dialogue. Has anybody read this in Spanish?
Four out of 5 stars.
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