The Lure, and Secrets, of Cuba – this Memoir unveils the truth behind the façade of the island
Buy the Book here: The Cuban Chronicles: A True Tale of Rascals, Rogues, and Romance
Some girls have all the fun. Calgarian writer Wanda St.Hilaire has taken her passion for travel, especially to Spanish speaking countries, and has given readers an opportunity to experience Cuba from an original and spirited perspective
In the infancy of Cuba’s tourism, Wanda St.Hilaire takes a trip to the tiny island. In spite of her love of all things Latin, she puts herself on a travel ban to Castro’s Cuba, one that lasts twenty years.
When she is forced to cancel a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico at the last minute, she finds herself in Cuba twice, on back-to-back trips. Walking into the backstreets of Havana, eyes wide open, she is pulled into a dalliance with a charismatic cubano.
In The Cuban Chronicles, St.Hilaire’s travelogue/memoir, she describes that underneath the façade of Cuba’s tourism lies the desperation of a society living mostly in abject poverty. When tourists mingle with locals, we get a glimpse of what underlies the frivolity of Cuban entanglements. St.Hilaire speaks with an authentic voice and doesn’t mince words; she recounts her own activities, emotions and opinions with refreshing honesty. The author is a natural storyteller and her vivid descriptions of people and her surroundings make Cuba come alive for the reader. Being an epistolary composition (the book is based on a series of letters to a friend in Paris), the author’s tone is warm and confidential, and peppered with touches of humor.
Think Eat, Pray, Love meets Bridget Jones’s Diary
with a dash of cayenne!
Wanda St.Hilaire supports her travel and writing habit by working as a reluctant sales and marketing representative. She spent four blissful winters away from the frozen landscape of Canada living in the barrios of Vallarta, Mexico, and she has traveled throughout the world. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.
A friend Tricia who goes to Cuba regularly writes:
Can I suggest that a better read is Dervla Murphy’s recent book (she traveled to Cuba 3 times over end 2005 – 2006) The Island that dared: travels in Cuba. Derval is in her late 70’s. She generally freetravels and that’s what she did for most of her time in Cuba – just walks places, with the occasional (very interesting) public transport experience. She tends to keep out of the cities. I found it a great book.
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 Amazon 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 insistent hostility of the government of the United States.” (Amazon)
jessie smith says
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean Sea, located at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. The main island, together with the Isle of Youth -formerly the Isle of Pines- surrounded by over 4,000 cays and inlets. Cuba, with a coastline of beautiful beaches and inlets, has three main geographical regions. In the west, the mountains slope down into fertile valleys, the Escambray Mountains in the central area soar above broad plains, and in the east the majestic Sierra Maestra range rises from the coastline in ragged peaks. Lying between the mountains, rich in minerals, lie productive agricultural lands.If some interested going up there for a vacation this is surely a second to none destination.
Find more about Cuba at http://caribtourism.net/cuba