An epic, sweeping, and meticulously researched saga recounting the tumultuous 20th-century history of the Caribbean islands. Alex invests a tremendous amount of effort in crafting this historical account for her readers, and it undeniably shines through. I also appreciate her ability to humanize the historical figures rather than reducing them to dry caricatures. Recognizing our shared humanity, complete with its frailties and pitfalls, can provide a deeper understanding of history. An excellent example of this type of historical narrative can be found in the sequence that vividly describes Papa Doc’s tantrum when his daughter eloped with her disgraced husband.
My only complaint is that this book essentially combines three distinct narratives into one: the history of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. While intertwined, each could have stood as a compelling narrative on its own. Towards the end, I felt that not enough attention was given to telling the stories of Castro and, to some extent, Che. At one point, I even turned to Netflix to watch a documentary on Castro, which provided me with a wealth of additional information.
However, this minor drawback in no way diminishes the overall compelling nature of this book. It should be mandatory reading for anyone studying Caribbean history and promises to be a pleasurable, informative, and captivating read for history enthusiasts.
The audible narration is also delightful, with the reader skillfully capturing the essence of the book. I especially appreciate her emphasis on French pronunciations, which adds an extra layer of intrigue.
Thank you, Alex, for delivering yet another wonderful historical read, following “Indian Summer.”