The Book is a description of growing up in pre-Castro Cuba, detailing life in various huge family settings, interspaced with childhood adventures. Life was safer and more carefree full of exuberant tales of family, Varadero beach, Belen school, fishing, foreign train rides, pirate ships, motorcycles, and rockets. Woe to the lizards in the 1950s. In these recollections, I have tried to give and convey the feel of general life in Cuba, punctuated by specific adventures I cherish. These adventures all happened in the summertime of my life… and the fertile ground of time may have created memories where only fairy tales should exist.
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By Jorge Deschapelles
Nov 17, 2012
So many things stand out in this collection of stories that it is hard to know where to begin. It is a special book for many reasons, and I would be remiss to leave anything out. First, this book chronicles a family history, and since it is the story of our family, there is something necessary about it for us - because it tells us who we are and more important who we came from.But I have expressed the value of the story as if it was only of interest to the family. I think there is more to it, and that others, friends or strangers, will feel compelled to pause on its pages. This is because it is a story of growing up, and not just growing up, but growing up in pre-revolution Cuba. And, it demonstrates a world of children at play who exhibit a sense of freedom and joy hard to imagine nowadays, hard to imagine for too many reasons to begin to explain. There is always some danger growing up and the willingness to try something new and foolish has always been the trademark of childhood.... More > This is life itself, and children push it to the limit. In that sense, this book shows the misadventures of childhood and qualifies as a Cuban Huck Finn story. Though it is true we never find out the who won the tarantula-scorpion battle and Tía Lillian still decides who rides the nag, everyone is there for each other and makes out ok in the end.< Less
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