Alicia Solomon hardly remembers anything from her first years of life. Only knows that she was abandoned on a very small raft, collected by some sailors on the high seas. Now, Alicia is an expert in ancient documents, and she faces the greatest challenge of her career: deciphering an enigmatic manuscript found in a mysterious indigenous tomb in Cuba, not far from Havana; a task that becomes more dangerous as Alicia realizes that there are people willing to kill so that this text, written by an unknown woman in the 16th century, never sees the light.
More than five hundred years ago, there was an exceptional witness to the Spanish conquest. Juana, a young newcomer to the island of hurricanes, became the voice of the mistreated peoples and the origin of a courageous and just dynasty, persecuted by who still today will not hesitate to eliminate those who oppose their greed and their already insatiable thirst for power.
I started reading this book in October of 2019 and it was hard to put down, but it was also hard to read because of the enormous amount of detailed storytelling. As a passionate history buff and a Caribbean Hispanic myself, the stories of our ancestors have been so distorted by colonizers throughout the years, that our present generations know very little of what really happened during the times of European conquests in the New World. Furthermore, Daína Chaviano’s amazing attention to detail paints every single scene of the book in your mind as if you are truly there; in my opinion, that is what makes a good-ass storyteller. The book jumps from the past to the present constantly without confusing you and helping you to connect the dots as the story unfolds. Yet, it doesn’t tell you everything; making you feel anxious enough to know all the answers already, but thrilled enough to know that there are still secrets to unveil.
Like all Caribbean countries (Hispanic ones in particular) Cuba has a mysteriously rich and harsh history, sharing the same conquerors, the same indigenous people (taínos) and the same natural threat (hurricanes) with the rest of the islands. In Los Hijos de la Diosa Huracán (The Children of The Hurricane Goddess) Chaviano not only explores these similarities but she shows us the Cuba of 2019 from the perspective of her own people. She enthralls a story that showcases the tension between two cultures and the undeniable result of this tension in the country’s future.
What I also love of this book (and what truly grasped my attention) was the mysticism of the story; which, is the protagonist due to the connection it creates on the two main characters. Mysticism is getting more attention today than before, and is because it never really left. Does the world actually believes that having so many cultures mixed in a group of people, would bring out ONE religion or spiritual practice? Chaviano explores this in the book, demonstrating that the Caribbean islands have a long and strong history with spirituality, mysticism and religion, and it is this history that defines many aspects of our culture today.
Sypnopsis taken from the book.