Book Review: Dreaming In Cuban

By | April 28, 2011

The novel Dreaming in Cuba is a master piece work by Cristina Garcia. The theme of the story consists of family relationships, exile, and dissentious with politics. The author of the novel Cristina Garcia is a well renowned writer and this particular novel was the finalist in the national book award. The novel revolves around a Cuban family and the political events that changed their lives. Three generations of the same family has been discussed in the novel the main character around which the whole novel revolves is Celia Del Pino.

The character of Celia Del Pino could be defined more appropriately as a matriarch and a woman of strong character. Apart from her family life she is a strong supporter of the revolution that is taking place in Cuba and follows Castro as an inspiration. The reason why Celia is the most important character of the novel is because right through the novel Celia’s past is been under scrutiny and is compared  with the current events (Corbett).

The character of Celia is a bit complex and it takes lots of twists and turns throughout the story. While she was living in Havana she falls in love with a Spaniard and soon they get married but soon after their marriage her husband lefts her and Celia losses the will to live and attempts suicide. After that Del Pino enters his life and persuades her to marry him. This marriage also not works as Del Pino leaves her and went on long business trips. In the mean time Celia gives birth to Del Pino’s daughter eventually he came back home and takes care of his daughter.

Politics hold a major section of the novel and the rift created by the political scenario in Cuba is also incorporated in the novel. As far as Celia is concerned she is s strong supporter of the revolution as compared to Del Pino who is very happy with the American friendly government in cube. The steadfastly nature of Celia with the Cuban revolution gradually takes her apart from her daughters Lourdes and Felicia and the reason for this distance is fairly obvious because of the loyalty her daughters have with the pro American government. On the other hand Javier the son of Celia shares the same political thought as of is mother. He is also a strong supporter of the revolution and for that reason he is very close to his mother Celia. Another twist in the tale occurs when Del Pino’s become hard on him because of his political believes and eventually Javier runs away from home to Czechoslovakia. This pro Cuban revolution attitude of Celia ultimately makes her isolated as all her family members defy her political thought. This isolation helps Celia in indulging herself into the revolution and performing a wide range of tasks by becoming a local judge of the people’s court (Klepp).

As written before Celia’s major reason of isolation was her pro revolutionary nature, which with the passage of time takes her apart from her family members. All in all Celia’s life as described in the novel is full of ups and downs, but one thing that is shown in the novel throughout is her persistence and determination towards the Cuban revolution for the sake of which she even sacrificed her family life.

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