cover image Santa Rita Stories

Santa Rita Stories

Andrew J. Rodriguez. Outskirts Press, $17.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4787-3698-1

Set on the docks of the fishing town Santa Rita, Cuba, in the 1950s, Rodriguez’s novel follows Carlos, an adolescent who has cultivated a friendship with Pedro, an old man who lives on the docks. Pedro teaches Carlos about life through telling him stories of the Santa Rita past—stories of Nazi spies, Ernest Hemingway, how to charm girls, and many other important life lessons. The more Carlos hears, the more he yearns to break free of Santa Rita and go to Havana, even as Pedro’s stories about the village’s past cement him to his birthplace. Rodriguez captures Cuba with affection and longing. Though the stories themselves feature commonplace plots, readers will find the relationship between Carlos and Pedro suffused with warmth, enough to make up for the minor frustrations with pacing. [em](BookLife) [/em]