This novel sets out to portray the spiritual landscape of the Cuban people in the wake of Castro's revolutionary upheaval. The novel centers around three generations of women in the Lucientes family and follows the story of Alicia Lucientes as, almost inadvertently, she becomes the most famous dissident on the island. The story opens in the days after the death of Alicia's husband, Julio Cesar Cruz, an elite commander in the rebel army who turned against the revolutionary authorities and was arrested and later killed while trying to flee through the American naval base in Guantanamo. In the months after Julio Cesar's death, Alicia becomes vocal against the revolution and begins gaining a reputation as a dissident. The second section is told in a more fabulistic and playful fashion and reaches back in time to deal with the lives of Alicia's dead, including Julio Cesar's famed blue-feathered rooster, Atila, who was killed on the same day as his master. Atila is one of the many mock heroes that people the novel to counteract the force of the only person allowed the true status of hero in revolutionary Cuba, Fidel Castro. Alicia is arrested and convicted of murdering a landowner and is sent to serve her sentence on the Isle of Pines. She joins a colony of reformed dissidents led by Maruja and her son, Joshua (rumored to be the bastard child of Fidel), where the aim is to forget the past and become proper members of revolutionary society.
Original title: The Lazarus Rumba
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ South & Central America