Take a three-generation family holiday in Cuba in the company of Dervla Murphy, her daughter and three young granddaughters and you have a Swallows-and-Amazons-like adventure in the Caribbean as they trek into the hills and along the coast as a family, camping out on empty beaches beneath the stars and relishing the ubiquitous Cuban hospitality. But this is no more than the joyful start of a fully-fledged quest to understand the unique society created by the Cuban Revolution. For Dervla returns alone to explore the mountains, coastal swamps and decaying cities, investigating the experience of modern Cuba with her particular, candid curiosity. Through her own research and through conversations with Fidelistas and their critics alike, The Island That Dared builds a complex picture of a people struggling to retain their identity in the face of the insistent hostility of the government of the United States.
Figuratively speaking this is a "rags to riches" story. It tells of a person who, in his youth, was a loner and an avowed atheist. He had no time for anyone but himself. He rebuffed all attempts by his neighbors to be friendly. He had a very peculiar habit later in life that was puzzling to the citizens of his town. Thrust upon him during his declining years by a "pushy" social worker was a baby whom he was expected to rear. Something happened on one occasion that changed him into another personality. From that point on not only was his personality changed but also his mode of life. Along the way many odd situations arise which captivate the attention of the reader, causing him or her to wonder what is going to happen next. The main character sees needs in his home town, needs to which no other citizen had given a thought. With the tenacity of a pit bull he tackles those needs. Figured in the plot of this book is a woman with the vocabulary of the proverbial sailor but who is a "diamond in the rough". This book is designed for enjoyable reading.
The only survivors of a devastating boating accident off the coast of Maine, Julia, Noah, and Kim struggle with their brush with death, their feelings of guilt, and their changed perspectives on their lives. By the author of Flirting with Pete. 350,000 first printing.