A disillusioned young man, Alexander Garcia begins a life of crime after his beloved father is murdered and his mother kills herself. Years later, he visits their family home, terrorizes the new occupants, and leaves his wife, disappearing into a world of conspiracy and terrorism.
Illapa (in the mold of Lisbeth Salander) a young Peruvian woman, marches through the Andes with a group of “Shining Path” guerrillas. She excels as a crack terrorist. She finds and comforts her dying father. Her story is revealed in the words of her father. He is an army colonel who fell in love with an Incan princess and kidnaps her, ultimately marrying her. Politics and realities of power force him to abandon his family in the Andes. The abandoned mother and daughter languish in despair and poverty, drawing the young girl into the peasants’ struggle for a better life. A visit to her dying grandfather and the ancient city of Machu Picchu connects her to her past answers many questions about her family and her race and who she is.
Meanwhile back in America Alexander joins a terrorist revolutionary group and becomes involved in horrific acts: bombing the Disney Castle, sinking an oil freighter in Venezuela and an assassination attempt on the President. Guilt weighs heavily on his mind as he struggles with his new life; he saves the life of the President. His life is a constant struggle to do right and still fight for a cause.
Ultimately he must flee to save his life. He faces the consequences of his brutal past, a harrowing secret is revealed and he begins a new journey of awareness, faith, and love in the mountains of South America. In this journey he is joined by Illapa, who is also forced to flee for her life.
In the highlands they find each other and redemption with the help of a Priest. Fr. Crewes’ painful and sinful past lead him to this place and time for the purpose of saving his fellow man, as he was saved.
Linda Garcia-Vitale, abandoned wife and newly-minted FBI agent, pursues her target zealously. When she finds him a totally different person, she has to make a difficult decision.
The story and the lives of the four people come into final focus in the Epilogue.
Reviewed by: Mara
Rating: 2 stars
Review: This book centers on two themes: Havana and the military.
Author has a soulful voice and fine craftsmanship, however, the story didn't suit my interests. I thought it was too complex and had too many characters. I think it would’ve been better if the story focused on one or two characters rather than four. Sometimes it’s better to keep it simple.
Of course, behind the four characters is the land of Cuba, which I felt was sort’ve a character in itself with the lush scenery and vivid descriptions. But, again, I just wasn’t enraptured by the tale.
I'm sure this would be good for history and political buffs.