This autobiographical book is about a girl, Alma, who grows up in the Cuban countryside and who learns to face social problems such as local crime.
She has a blind great grandmother who teaches her about generosity and wisdom. A caretaker burns his hand but every day he still tries to make music. The parents talk about the War (World War II).
When she moves to the city with her family she comes to realize that her country is far from perfect. She has to overcome many obstacles such as the hardships of city life and severe storms that frighten the family. They have a hard time adjusting to the city after many years of country life. She is very surprised to wake up to the calling of the street vendors. She has a horrible school year in the city and is very grateful to her dance teacher who helps her get through the bad school year.
I think this a good book and gives insight into the life of a girl growing up in Cuba. The book shows the importance of being loved, such as when the Uncle loses his students and the caretaker burns his hand. The book also demonstrates the customs and rituals of another country.
I like how the book was divided into several mini stories that describe the key different parts of her life. I chose to review this book to discover what life in Cuba is like for the girl and the writing described this well.
I think the writing is a little slow paced and did not get to the point fast enough. But overall it was very good.
The book portrays throughout that perseverance is important: no matter what problem the family faced, they would get through it.
There was some mature content as people fake death and there are weapons. The caretaker, Somone, also burns his hands very badly.