I just finished 2 books that my sister recommended. Well, I felt like I was in school again because I didn't really want to read them and did not like them very much. I read them mostly because I wanted to have something to talk about with my sister besides talking about our mother. I also read them because they are written by a Cuban who was about the same age as me when he left Cuba and the books are about his life in Cuba and adjusting to life in the USA. I did not like how he wrote - too many flashbacks and flash forwards. Also, it's all in his point of view. I prefer books that are written with various points of view or in the narrator's point of view and with more dialogue. He had a very hard time, and it was depressing. Even at the end, he still writes about dying, so, I can't tell if it's a happy ending or not...
I related when he wrote bout his experience diving off a high diving board. I remember my first time when I was 16 helping my sister who had just had a baby in Gainesville, Fla. My brother-in-law was a student at the University and he let me use his ID to get into the pool. The ids did not have pictures back then. His name is Juan and the receptionist looked at me funny when I showed my id but I told him I was Cuban and he let me through. I felt just like the author described when we looked down at the water that seemed to get farther away and when we hit the water - how it hurt!!
I thought that the second book- Waiting to Die in Miami- had to be better than the first but, not to me. The author, Carlos Eire, had a really hard life in the USA and his parents in Cuba, not like my family. My parents had a difficult time adjusting and were always expecting to return to Cuba any time like most Cubans. We also moved up north when my dad got a job, and were away from other Cubans. My memories of becoming Americanized are positive for the most part, or maybe I only remember the good times. I liked being Cuban and in junior high and high school they wrote articles about me in the school newspaper. I remember doing my reports on the Cuban Missile Crisis and my family having similar attitudes as the author about JFK. I did lose my Cuban identity when I married an American and I lost my accent. I was happy and was conscious of regaining it when I started teaching Spanish and started to travel to Spanish speaking speaking countries.
I guess that the book made me think and compare his experiences with mine. Though I did not enjoy reading the books, I learned from them.
In the last 3 pages he gets philosophical and makes me want to take notes. I take notes when I want to argue a point and better understand it. page 300 "I'm a success story, damn it..." In the next paragraph he calls himself a "comemierda" translates it to "moron". Actually he is at a good point in his life, a professor at Yale. Then he goes into a final view of dying that has been the recurrent theme of the books. Like he is enlightened and has the definition of it! Sorry, I don't agree, but, you'll have to look it up if you want to know more, but, it's not worth it.
Now I feel like I have written a book report and not worth an A.
Ani, let's talk about this! And any of you that have also read the book send me an email! Write your comments.