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Blessed by Thunder: Memoir of a Cuban Girlhood

In this evocative and profoundly moving memoir, Flor Fernandez Barrios tells the story of her Cuban childhood and the dramatic consequences of Cuba's contemporary history. A small child when Fidel Castro comes to power, the author grows up amid the chaotic events of the revolution and witnesses the irrevocable changes to her family and community—from possession and ruin of her grandparents' land to her parents' bitter disillusionment with the new government. After requesting to leave the country, her family is ostracized and eleven-year-old Flor is sent to a rural work camp where she picks tobacco and sugar cane for two years. Headstrong and defiant despite daily hardships, Flor finds wisdom and comfort in the older women in her family: Her two grandmothers and her nanny, each of whom teaches her about the power of spirits and the magical ways to seek healing. When she finally leaves Cuba, Flor must leave behind many cherished members of her family as well as her beloved homeland. Uprooted and living in exile, she uses the lessons she has been taught by the women in her family to heal her losses and chart her way in the new world. An unforgettable portrait of society wrenched by change, Blessed by Thunder marks debut of an important and talented voice.