Sobel Weber Associates, Inc.

Chantel Acevedo

  • Love and Ghost Letters
  • (St. Martins Press, Fall 2005)
  • by Chantel Acevedo
  • "When Josefina Navarro was an infant, her fortune was told. The maid, Regla, knew nothing of coffee grinds, she did not throw shells, nor did she have visions. She did what the country people always do - she looked at the tiny fingernails of the baby, at the white flecks imbedded underneath, and proclaimed to Josefina's father that the child was to be unhappy and tormented all her life. Perhaps the reason she saw such a future was the time, the past century still a part of the island's memory, a place where the poor were fearsomely poor and the rich awesomely rich..."

    A richly imagined first novel set in Cuba from 1938 to the 1960's chronicling the haunted relationship between a daughter and her exiled father.

    When Josefina Navarro trades her privileged life in Havana, protected by her Sergeant father and enchanted by the magical rituals of her nursemaid, for a penniless life with her new husband, Lorenzo, her father cuts her off completely.

    Josefina moves with Lorenzo to El Cotorro, an impoverished town, where she has two children. As her husband shows his true colors as a philandering womanizer and spends more and more time away from home, Josefina sinks into a deeper sadness, relying on her daughter, Soledad, as her only comfort.

    After a riot in El Cotorro, the Sergeant is assumed dead. In disgrace, he catches a ferry to Miami, slipping out of Cuba. From his exile, the Sergeant writes letters to his daughter through an intermediary in El Cotorro. The mysterious letters, without address, lead her to believe her father is communicating from beyond the grave. In the letters, he relates the story of his past, and through them, he establishes a new link to his long-estranged daughter.

    Told over nearly four decades, against the background of Cuba's turbulent history, LOVE AND GHOST LETTERS is an insightful, passionate story of the triumph of memory and devotion.

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