Telex From Cuba, Rachel Kushner, Scribner, 2008, 322 pp
What a great idea for a novel! The Cuban revolution seen primarily through the eyes and lives of American families living there during those times. These families are not colonialists themselves. The husbands are employees of American companies who operate in Cuba as a result of older colonial practices. The wives are trying to live an American life in an exotic location while being served by natives.
Rachel Cushner has created this viewpoint so well. Behind an entertaining, easily grasped story is a wealth of intelligence, thought, political views and sheer love of her topic.
The characters are the key: the American couples, the French arms dealer, the Cuban politicians and workers, but especially the American kids. Even the Castro brothers are brilliantly realized. It is rare to find a book with no flat characters.
I enjoyed every page. There was never a lag in momentum and Kushner got her ideas across by means of the story. I look forward to anything else she writes.
(Telex From Cuba is available in paperback on the shelf at Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)