The novel Of Women and Salt starts with Carmen’s plea to her daughter Jeanette to live—to choose life over suffering and addiction. From there, readers explore generations of Cuban and Cuban-American women as they come to terms with themselves, their family, and their countries. Within 12 short chapters, author Gabriela Garcia explores 9 points of view, offering an unflinching look into the ways her characters hurt and help each other over several lifetimes.
From pre-revolution Cuba’s cigar factories and guerrillos (rebel fighters) to the salty-sweet Miami heat on pre-teen flesh, Garcia is well versed in balancing what was, what could be, and what inevitably will be. What is the fate of a child whose mother was taken by ICE—and what is the fate of the mother? Who can predict the future of someone struggling with addiction and who can help steer them to safety? Why do we miss ancestral land we’ve never seen and when will America feel like home? Garcia’s phenomenal novel is both difficult and diligent, one readers won’t want to put down.
By Brianne Kane
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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