Monday, June 25, 2007

I finished Loving Che on Sunday. I liked it but it felt very light, nebulous and kind of hazy. Not an amazing book, but it sketched a lovely romantic picture of Cuba in the 1950's and 60's. Lovely until Cuba collapses into chaos, destruction and communism, of course. The hazy romance of the book is the love affair between a young married upper middle class woman and Che Guevera. The product of their love affair is a baby girl, who is shipped off with her grandfather when the Cuban people begin their mass immigration to the US in the 1960's. The mystery of the book is that the baby girl grows up with no knowledge of her parents or their history and the only family member she knows is her silent and steady grandfather. Years later, after her grandfathers death, and many investigative trips to Cuba in search of her mother, the daughter receives a random package filled with photos and letters from her mother. These letters, which make up over half of the book, lend some insight into the family history and the girl's possible parentage. The book never quite clarifies whether the love story is true or whether Che is actually the girl's father, and it doesn't really matter in the long run. But its a romantic and beautifully written story. Next up is Basilica by R. A Scotti, about the building of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, really good so far, especially since I've visiting there so recently.

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