Cousins Nora and Alicia are accustomed to living among Havana's privileged class -- but their lavish dinners, days at the beach, and extravagant dances come to an end after Castro's rise to power. Food becomes scarce, religion is forbidden, and disease runs rampant. Although Alicia stays behind while Nora emigrates to the United States, both of their identities are challenged as they try to adapt to the changes forced upon them. As the situation in Cuba deteriorates, Alicia is beset by bad fortune, while Nora -- whose heart is still in Cuba -- painfully assimilates into middle-class U.S. culture. Letters between the cousins track their lives until Alicia's situation becomes so difficult that Nora is forced to return and help. But what she finds in Cuba is like nothing she ever imagined.
Told with wrenching insight into the tender balance between the hope and grief that shapes the immigrant heart, Broken Paradise
is an extraordinarily powerful novel about passion, love, and the heart's yearning for home.