Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Revolution uprooted six-year-old Cecilia from her comfortable middle-class Cuban home and dropped her into the low-income Miami neighborhood of Little Havana. Her philandering father all but abandoned his family to focus on his mistress and rebuilding his career, chasing the American promise of wealth and freedom from the past. Her mother spiraled into madness trying to hold the family together and get him back. Neglected and trapped, Cecilia rebelled against her conservative heritage and embraced the 1960s counter-culture, seeking love and attention anywhere she could get it. And just maybe a place of her own in America. But immigrant children either thrive or self-destruct in a new land. How will Cecilia beat the odds? While most memoirs by Cuban-Americans revolve around childhood scenes in Cuba and explore the experiences of a young man, LEAVING LITTLE HAVANA is the first refugee memoir to focus on a Cuban girl growing up in America, rising above the obstacles and clearing a path to her dream.

Reviewed by: Bela
Rating: 3 stars

Review: This book is a well-written and vivid account of a young girl’s coming-of-age during “pre-revolutionary Cuba.” The writer engulfs the reader in the rich, vibrant history and cultural traditions of Cuba. Perhaps it was too involved with minute details that it almost read like a war documentary at times. I also thought that it had too many characters and too much politics to hold my interest. Can Cubans talk of nothing else but Castro?

Although witty and heart-felt, the story’s attempt at humor was overshadowed by the political weight and the abundance of historical facts. It was just a long lecture on Cuba.

The writing was good, but this is mainly a story for those who want to learn about Cuba.

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