In 1963, as a hurricane roars toward Cuba, eighty-two-year-old María Sirena and six other women gather in an abandoned mansion to ride out the storm. When the women learn that María Sirena once worked as a lectora in a cigar factory, reading aloud to the workers as they rolled the tobacco, they beg for a story to pass the time and distract them from the rising waters. So begins an epic tale of love, loss, and survival, as María Sirena recounts her own incredible story of growing up during Cuba's battle for independence. Born in 1881 to a Cuban freedom fighter and his beautiful, indomitable wife, María Sirena's youth is shaped less by politics than by her parents' tempestuous relationship, a marriage of passion and ideals that sweeps their daughter from her childhood in nineteenth-century Havana into adolescence and first love in the heart of the Cuban wilderness. But as María Sirena weaves her spellbinding tale, she must face the ghosts from her past - and reveal the secret heartbreak that's haunted her for more than six decades. Engaging and beautifully written, The Distant Marvels is an emotional and evocative coming-of-age novel set against the remarkable backdrop of revolutionary Cuba. (KG)
This title is part of our 2016 Bluestocking Book a Month package.
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