Review: Between Here and Gone By: Barbara Ferrer
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This story revolves around the fall of one family from being upper class in Cuba to becoming working class in America. Natalia is the character who we get to see all these events through and she starts out as this protected princess like girl being spoiled by her parents to being shoved off a boat with her younger brother to swim to shore in America. Then we fast forward a couple years and see that she is working as a hostess in a restaruant and being a tutor (sometimes more) at a prestigious private school. The scene that takes place there is one of the hardest to read (there are many points in this story that you hope things aren’t going to go the way you think they might and then they do!)
While things do seem pretty bleak at times this is a story of strength, of discovering that you are exceptionally strong when tested with extraordinary circumstances. But in addition to this strength it’s also about being proud of your heritage no matter what others may think of it. Since this story begins in the late 50s and the rise to power of Castro things were not the best for the Cuban people and times were tough for them even forcing some families to take the same journey that Natalia’s family did. Historically I think it’s an important time to shed some light on.
The author’s writing style is all encompassing and I left the story with a clear idea of who these people are and you feel for them. You wish their struggles were less and you want to see them succeed and become okay with how their lives have changed. The formatting of how the pages were set up took a little getting used to but by the end I really enjoyed how it was all set up.
Between Here and Gone Synopsis:
In 1959 Cuba, Natalia San Martín was nothing short of a princess: sheltered, pampered, and courted by her very own prince, a childhood friend turned lifelong love. All that changed on the fateful New Year’s Eve when Fidel Castro and his followers seized control of the country, with tragic consequences for not only the island, but Natalia herself.
Five years later, in 1960s New York, she’s known as Natalie Martin―living a life that’s bleak, but thankfully anonymous. However, when the enigmatic Jack Roemer offers her a job writing the memoir of a starlet on the brink of self-destruction, she sees not only opportunity, but unexpected echoes of a fairytale long forgotten.
As she knows all too well, however, the prettiest façade can hide the ugliest of truths― and peeling back the layers of someone else’s past forces Natalie to confront her own.
“Ferrer has created a story that’s breathtaking in its scope, and a heroine whose strength will leave readers in awe.” -Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Barbara Ferrer Bio:
Barbara Ferrer is a first generation, bilingual Cuban-American, whose young adult debut, Adiós to My Old Life was Romance Writers of America’s 2007 RITA® winner for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance as well as being named to the 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list by the ALA. Her latest novel, When the Stars Go Blue, a contemporary retelling of Bizet’s Carmen, was released by Thomas Dunne Books and was honored as the first place YA Novel: English Language at the 2011 International Latino Book Awards.
A native Floridian, Ferrer now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, thriving amidst the rain and cooler weather, finding it the perfect writing environment.
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