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Our House in the Last World

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781538722251

Price: £14.99

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A first-generation Cuban son comes of age in 1940s New York in the debut–and most autobiographical–novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.

New York City, 1944. Hector Santinio is the younger son of Cuban immigrants Alejo and Mercedes. The fraught family of four shares their small, modest apartment with extended relatives in raucous Spanish Harlem. There are parties, dancing, and dreamy, homesick storytelling about their idyllic island. But life’s realities are nevertheless harsh in the Santinio family’s adoptive land.

Mercedes decides to take Hector and his brother Horacio to visit relatives in Cuba to better know her culture. While there, the three-year-old Hector contracts a serious illness that leads to his terrifying year-long hospitalization and recovery back in the United States. Caught between his overly protective mother’s fears for his health and his father’s macho behavior and disappointments, the adolescent Hector struggles to understand his identity and place in the world.

In the aftermath of his father’s untimely passing, Hector staggers towards adulthood, haunted by notions of inadequacy and sadness and wrestles with the truth of his father as a deeply flawed but honorable man.

This is a jewel-box of a tale whose treasure is the hope and yearning of immigrants in America.

Includes a Reading Group Guide.

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