Here is another book that totally transports the reader into a new culture. Arturo and his large extended family live in a small town in Florida. When their family run restaurant is threatened by a developer who wants to put up high rise apartments, Arturo, his family, and his new found friend, Carmen, find strength from the words of Arturo's grandparents, and the Cuban Poet, Jose Marti, to face the threat to their family business.
This is a heart warming story. Arturo's family feels authentic, and Arturo's relationship with his grandmother is touching. Readers who come from a large close family will have much to chuckle over in the story, while those who don't can get a glimpse into the sweet and challenging life of those who do. My only concern with the book is that I thought Cartaya demonized the developer too much. I am sure many developers actually have very ethical motivations. Wanting to build an upscale apartment complex does not make one evil. That said, this is a great addition to literature portraying the Latino experience and I expect to see it on some of the award lists next winter.