Of Women and Salt

Gabriela Garcia. Flatiron, $26.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-77668-6
Garcia’s dexterous debut chronicles the travails of a Cuban immigrant family. Carmen, a Cuban immigrant living in Miami, is worried about her daughter Jeanette’s addiction to drugs and alcohol. In 2014, during a moment of sobriety, Jeanette watches as her Salvadorian neighbor, Gloria, is detained by ICE while Gloria’s daughter, Ana, is away with a babysitter. After Jeanette takes in Ana, Garcia unfolds the stories of the two families in parallel narratives, shifting between Gloria awaiting deportation in a Texas detention center while Ana stays briefly with Jeanette and episodes set during the Cuban Independence Movement of the late 19th century, when Jeanette’s great-great-grandmother worked in Cuba at a cigar factory, and Carmen’s escape from Cuba 15 years after the revolution. Eventually, Jeanette’s story reveals her addiction may be her way of coping with the trauma of having been sexually assaulted as child. Throughout, Garcia illustrates the hard choices mothers make generation after generation to protect their children: “Motherhood: question mark, a constant calculation of what-if,” muses Gloria. The jumps across time and place can occasionally dampen the various threads’ emotional impact, but by the end they form an impressive, tightly braided whole. This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories. Agents: PJ Mark and Marya Spence, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/03/2021
Release date: 04/06/2021
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-0-06-296969-9
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-06-296972-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-79098-9
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