Friday, August 12, 2011

Broken Paradise by Cecilia Samartin

Broken Paradise by Cecilia SamartinThis is one of those books that I don't even feel worthy enough to write a review for.. It's just too beautiful and too well written.

The setting is Cuba, pre Castro.. two cousins and best friends are growing up together. Nora looks at Alicia and thinks she has it all, the looks, the boys... but things change after the revolution and Castro. Nora goes to the states and she has the "charmed" life. Alicia chooses to stay and her life is not what anyone thought it would be.

And Alicia.. does all that she does for love. Kinda stupid, but kinda beautiful too. Imagine selling your body just to make sure your husband gets oranges and soap while he is in prison for speaking his mind, for revolting against a dictator.. Imagine wasting away to nothing in hopes that you can buy his passage to freedom. That's some strong love.

And there's a beautiful blind girl too. There's the rise and fall of communism. When does it become a dictatorship? There's interracial relations and the heated arguments it raises. There's hunger, thirst, and drifting at sea while sharks thump against the boat.There's two women who realize they can't wait for hope to find them, but must seek it themselves.

The descriptions: Superbly done. Not over done. The characters: wonderfully developed. The history: very thought evoking. The book overall: Terrific. 

Five stars and I bought this on Amazon.


  1. Nice review. The cover is lovely.

  2. Wow, I need to get a copy of this one! Love your review. And I agree with Susan J., the cover is lovely and quite unique!

  3. What a great review, thank you Tavra.
    Cecilia really enjoyed reading it!
    Currently 4 of her books are in the best seller lists in Norway where she is heading in two weeks to release her 5th and latest novel.
    She is planning to release an e-version of her bestselling book Mofongo here in the US in the very near future. I'd be delighted to send you a copy to preview if you have the time!

  4. Thanks all! Glad you found the review helpful. Steve, I think Samartin is an amazing writer and I immediately looked up all her other works. Mofongo follows a boy, right? I don't normally read masculine leads. I have added Tarnished Beauty to my to read list, however. If she wants reviews for that one, I would love a copy.

    Also, I'd love a heads up on the fifth novel. I can add it to the goodreads database and be watching for it.

  5. I'll send you a copy of Tarnished Beauty and Vigil....We look forward to your thoughts!
    Mofongo is a little different....although seen through the eyes of Sebastian, the relationship with his Grandmother is the main thread throughout the story. It's pretty amazing.
    Can you email me your address

    It's great you take the time to publish your blog and reviews.....thank you!

  6. Steve, email is on the way. I did forget to put a subject heading though so it may go to your spam. Sorry about that. I just noticed it as I was going through my sent email searching for something.

    Much thanks to both you and Cecilia!