Dreaming in Cuban
- Narrated by: Maggie Bofill
- Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 04-01-11
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios
Set mostly in the ’70s, the del Pino family suffers from a restlessness that both tears apart and unites its members. To tell the story, García skips through time and switches perspective, sometimes several times per chapter, mostly between the female members of the family. (Although there are men in the book, the women are the storytellers.) Suzanne Toren voices the anguish and disillusionment of the family’s matriarch, Celia. When Celia cannot will away her children’s demons or husband’s death, she throws her remaining vitality into supporting the Cuban revolution.
The narrator differentiates the voices of three generations of Cuban women by donning different degrees of Cuban accent. Celia has the thickest accent, followed by her daughters, Felicia, who never leaves Cuba, and Lourdes, who emigrates to the US immediately after the Revolution. Although Lourdes obsesses over living the American Dream by becoming a successful entrepreneur and by volunteering for her local neighborhood watch, Toren gives her a thicker Cuban accent than Felicia, never allowing Lourdes’ accent to fade, even as the years pass and her bakery business expands.
Lourdes’ rebellious daughter, Pilar, is born in Cuba but comes to the States with her parents when she is still a toddler. Toren gives Pilar just a touch of Cuban accent by way of Brooklyn, and Pilar serves as the listener’s guide — someone who is wholly familiar with Cuban culture without being a part of it.
Toren’s narration is sensitive to the fact that Fidel Castro — always referred to simply as El Líder — serves as not just a background detail for a historical novel, but as central character, in the sense that he catalyzes the plot. As such, look out for the moments when El Líder appears: these moments comprise the most intense, compelling parts of the narrator’s performance. —Maggie Frank
A poetic blend of humor and surrealism, Dreaming in Cuban is about the meaning of home and heart, love and hate, and, ultimately, what happens when a broken family tries to rebuild itself.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By kurdis teed on 14-06-17
Very Good Recording
Where does Dreaming in Cuban rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It doesn't rank at the top, but Dreaming in Cuban ranks in that second tier of audiobooks. I liked it quite a bit.
What other book might you compare Dreaming in Cuban to and why?
It kind of reminded me of the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I enjoyed them both, though they are not in that top tier that is reserved for the greats, such as Infinite Jest or The Goldfinch.
What about Maggie Bofill’s performance did you like?
She has a nice voice and does a great job with the characters. She made the recording pleasurable to the ears.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
what cannot be
Any additional comments?
This is an enjoyable recording. It is not one that pops into my mind when suggesting an audiobook to a friend, but I have no complaints about it.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By omi on 14-07-16
The book was great. Very good story. I am a Cuban who arrived in the States in1970 and I can guarantee you that Cubans don't s peak English with a Mexican accent. It upseted me every time I heard Maggie Bofill singing the English accent as Mexicans do when she was in fact portraying a Cuban. Somebody didn't d other homework.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful