In "Dreaming in Cuban," author Cristina Garcia tells the story of a Cuban-American family and their experiences with the Cuban Revolution. The novel follows three generations of the del Pino family, beginning with Felicia, a young girl living in pre-revolutionary Cuba, and ending with her granddaughter, Lourdes, who is living in the United States.
The novel is structured around the themes of exile, loss, and the search for identity. Felicia and her husband, Jorge, are forced to flee Cuba after the revolution and start a new life in the United States. They leave behind their daughter, Pilar, who remains in Cuba and becomes involved in the revolution. Pilar's daughter, Lourdes, is born in Cuba and grows up with her mother's stories of the revolution and the sacrifices made by her grandparents. As Lourdes grows older, she becomes increasingly disillusioned with the revolution and begins to question her own identity as a Cuban-American.
One of the major themes of the novel is the idea of exile and the loss that comes with it. Felicia and Jorge are forced to leave behind their home, their friends, and their way of life when they flee to the United States. Pilar is also forced to leave behind her family and her homeland when she becomes involved in the revolution. The loss of these connections to their past and to their homeland is a constant source of pain for the characters, and it shapes their relationships and their sense of identity.
Another important theme in the novel is the search for identity. Lourdes, in particular, struggles with her identity as a Cuban-American, caught between her desire to embrace her Cuban heritage and her alienation from the country of her birth. She is also torn between her love for her mother, who is deeply committed to the revolution, and her growing disillusionment with the regime. Lourdes's search for her own identity is paralleled by the characters' search for their place in the world and for a sense of belonging.
Overall, "Dreaming in Cuban" is a powerful and moving novel about the consequences of political upheaval and the enduring bonds of family. Through the experiences of the del Pino family, Garcia explores the themes of exile, loss, and the search for identity, creating a rich and complex portrait of the Cuban-American experience.