Cristina Garc�a�s first award-winning novel Dreaming in Cuban set her dazzling star securely in the firmament of new literary fiction. Garc�a�s second novel The Ag�ero Sisters does not disappoint. The Ag�ero Sisters is a captivating story of magnetism, myth, magic and miracles. The story is about the Cuban sisters Re�na and Constanc�a who are separated for thirty years by the Cuban revolution after Constanc�a fled Cuba in 1960 with her husband.
The story is articulated in the different voices of Constanc�a, Re�na, their father Ignac�o , and at times their children which can be a little confusing. The intermingling of narrative voices adds depth and breadth to the story. Their voices intermingle to reveal the mysteries of the past and to resolve the questions each of the sisters has about their history, especially about the deaths of their parents. Blanca and Ignac�o Ag�ero, scientists who were completely in tune with the truths of the natural world, left their daughters with little more than murky and ambiguous memories of a past filled with lies.
Re�na remains in Cuba living in her parent�s home in Havana surrounded by Ignac�o's naturalist artifacts and relics. Re�na is bold, confident, tall, dark, strikingly beautiful, unmarried and endowed with a vibrant sexual magnetism. Re�na thrives in her life as a master electrician and is almost a legend among the men with whom she works. Re�na is very much a realist and believes only in that which she can experience through her own senses.
Constanc�a is married to a wealthy New York City tobacconist and is a very successful cosmetic sales person at the beginning of the story. Constanc�a is petite, pale, beautiful, modest and rather repressed. She believes in miracles and practices Santeria. In Miami, Constanc�a creates her own line of cosmetics in her kitchen. She mixes herbs, flower petals and other natural ingredients to create age-defying face creams and emollients that smell like Cuba. Her skin care business is wildly, almost supernaturally successful.
The Ag�ero Sisters is a serious literary work with lush poetic prose enlivened with magical realism and satire. Garc�a�s love of language is apparent in her unforgettable images. The story of two sisters separated for thirty years by the Cuban revolution is an accurate portrayal of history. It is the believable story of a Cuban family and the acrimony that can develop from long separation. The bonus is the vivid descriptions of the activities of the naturalists in the Zapata swamp with their tiny frogs, ruddy ducks and bee hummingbirds. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and keep going back to it. I have not revealed anything to spoil the adventure for you when you read it.
I received no compensation for this review. I used my personal copy of The Ag�ero Sisters.
Click the link to Amazon below if you would like to purchase the book.