In the course of ten linked stories, the author brings to vivid life the rhythms of daily life in mid-1950’s Cuba, and the transition from Carlos’s carefree, nurturing childhood to his awakening to the responsibilities–and possibilities– of young manhood. Carlos resists authority; but he can’t resist Pedro’s wisdom as the Old Man dispenses advice about everything from the proper method of romantic kissing, to how to avoid judging a book by its cover–dramatized by a tale of Ernest Hemingway and an encounter with a Nazi spy. By the final story, just as Carlos longs to escape the restrictions of a small town and spread his wings in the big city of Havana, we also long, right along with him, to linger forever in the magical, love-filled world of Santa Rita.
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