Based on a true story, A.J. Sidransky’s new historical novel takes readers to Cuba in 1958. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and their rebel comrades are working to overthrow Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship.
Members of Cuba’s Jewish community, brothers Aaron and Moises Cohen are caught up in this whirlwind of change. Aaron is a lawyer working at the National Bank of Cuba and happily anticipating his wedding to Beatriz. Moises is a dedicated revolutionary working for Castro’s revolution and living with Ana Teresa, a non-Jewish woman. Both want change, but Aaron prefers to work within the system while Moises hopes to overthrow it. As the tumultuous events unfold, the two brothers discover the infighting and corruption of the new regime. Aaron decides to leave Cuba for the US with his wife and young daughter, but he has problems obtaining the necessary visas. Moises learns that people he trusted are corrupt. This includes even Ana Teresa, who leaves him and their daughter for another man. The estranged brothers eventually meet again in New York, when Moises visits Aaron — a visit that coincides with the bombing of the World Trade Center. Although they argue politics as usual, they soon come to understand that family is the most important part of life.
Given our current political climate, with its divisiveness and corruption, this well-told story feels incredibly relevant. Book club members will have a great deal to discuss as they analyze relationships and political factions.