This just out – and also on my reading list 🙂
“IN HER WRENCHING DEBUT novel-in-stories, Of Women and Salt, Gabriela Garcia meticulously weaves a mesh of parallels between Latinx mothers and daughters. The novel opens, by way of preface, with Carmen appealing to her daughter Jeanette to get sober so they can actually start communicating with one another. ‘Maybe there are forces neither of us examined,’ she says. ‘Maybe if I had a way of seeing all the past, all the paths, I’d have some answer as to why: Why did our lives turn out this way?’ Early on, we learn that Jeanette, too, has wanted this connection but has been unable to ask: ‘[E]ven as a child, Jeanette understood that another narrative she couldn’t access had shaped her life. She didn’t have the vocabulary to say, I want to know who I am, so I need to know who you’ve been.‘”
“… The 12 intertwined stories transport us through time and place, providing glimpses into different moments not only in family histories but in women’s individual life-stories. The first three episodes illustrate something of the connections and disjunctures: from Cuba just before the start of its war of independence against Spain, where a suitor reads Carmen’s grandmother, María Isabel, Cirilo Villaverde’s canonical novel of Cuban race and class conflict, Cecilia Valdés, we shift to Miami, where Carmen’s daughter, Jeanette, witnesses an ICE raid and takes in the child left behind, Ana, then to the detention center where Ana’s mother, Gloria, is sent. At times, these spatial and temporal shifts gesture toward story lines to which we do not return. Slowly and cumulatively, the juxtaposed narratives bring home to the reader the links among seven central women characters — links that are often obscure to the characters themselves.”
I’ve always had an interest in Cuba, although I have never been there. But generally, this sounds like something to check out.