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Posted December 12, 2012
Finding Manana; A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus written by Mirta Ojit
Finding Manana; A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus written by Mirta Ojito is a fast paced straight to the point memoir that hooks the reader in right when picked up. The book simultaneously without the reader noticing teaches true historical facts while entertaining you making the page turning constant. The author uses her own story from when she is just a child to show the world the social injustices and struggle that her and her family had to endure to finally enjoy the right we take for granted which is freedom.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Our society needs to understand that the right to practice and believe your own thoughts should be a human necessity. Sadly though more than often it is taken away and people find themselves abused all over the world. Mirta writes about her experience as a young girl and the hate and intolerance that her family had to go through for disagreeing in their countries leader Fidel Castro. They are compared to dirt and would often find their house egged or being bullied trying to live every day life.
As she grows older she begins to agree with why her parents try so hard to get her to understand why they say and praise the actions committed against the country they claim to love. It is because they understand that their country can be so much better. Eventually she joins their cause and flees with over 1000 other immigrants to the American embassy in Havana to escape persecution.
When she finally reaches the United States she finds a different kind of hardship. Poverty is an unavoidable fate for any immigrant coming from Cuba. Hard work and love get them through and Mirta later becomes a successful reporter. She lives on to the story of her people and educate the world in what really was happening in an unjust and once prosperous Cuba.
In the end the memoir does more than just provide justice to all the Cubans who immigrated to America for a better life. This is a must read for everyone and needs to be picked up at your local book store not just because it is good but because it is the truth.
by Ryan Graham for Mrs. Logudice Spanish II
Posted December 16, 2010
an enlightening tale
Do non-fiction tales intrigue you? Are you interested peoples stories about their struggles in life? If so, the book "Finding Manana" is perfect for you. The author, Mirta Ojito did a beautiful job of capturing the pain, hope, and suffering of the Cuban people who wished for a better life beyond communist Cuba. This book is chalk-full of interesting bits of Cuban peoples lives pertaining to their exoduses (in some cases to the great land of Los Estados Unidos,) but above all away from Cuba. There are Many underlying themes that caught and kept my attention during this 278 page book. One of them was the communist ideals that have overwhelmed Cuba since Fidel Castro's dictatorship began in 1959. Most Cubans' opinion on their government in this book or in general for that matter on their homeland's government fell upon deaf ears. The sadness of not being able to have a say on any of your country's decisions struck me numerous times while reading "Finding Manana." Mirta and her fellow "counterrevolutionary" Cubans were often mocked or scolded for not being behind Fidel's ideals by peers. Growing up in the United states I've had all the opportunities I need, I couldn't imagine having no options or choices. Each chapter I read I grew more and more thankful to live in a country that has so much freedom. Mirta's writing style was a little bit on the slow side and at points I felt as though she was going a bit to deep of a description of minor details. The fact that this was a biography and not a fiction novel shined through consistently throughout the book. Ojito's vivid descriptions and personal feelings kept topics touching and realistic. I felt as though certain sections of each chapter were slightly unnecessary and had little significance. However, there wasn't any point in my reading that I felt I was wasting my time, the issues made a great impact on my preconceived ideas of any immigration situations. I felt satisfied and enlightened after reading this beautiful tale of peoples struggles and triumphs and successes as well as their passion for what is right.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 29, 2009
Finding Manana A Memoir Of A Cuban Exodus, By Mirta Ojito
Finding Manana is a diary of Mirta Ojito and her family growing up in a communist country, where little is tolerated. It takes place in Cuba during the 1970's and 80's while Mirta grows up. The story's chapters interchange from historical events during her childhood in Cuba, to how they affected her family and her experiences from that point in time. "A simple switch of a button to the right, a light appeared on the center of the screen, where it flickered for a while, and then, as if by magic, the screen opened." Here she is talking about the television her Father brought home for her family. Sentences like this painted a picture in my mind. Mirta Ojito does a wonderful job of making you feel like your there, catching the characters emotions while you read. When Mirta was in 5th grade her teacher asked the class "Who here believes in God, and who here goes to church?" Mirta was one of two students to raise there hands. Rita, her teacher, then responded "How can such an intelligent girl believe in God? Does God put food on your table? Noooo, Fidel does. Does God give you your books and pencils so you can come to school? Noooo, the revolution does." It shows that Castro had such a huge amount of power on Cuba that people thought of him as a "God" or higher than God. Moments like this shocked me and I needed to read more. I learned many things in this book about Castro; I was fascinated by it all. She makes several references to Fidel Castro, as well as others, but most people will recognize his name more than the others mentioned. Mirta Ojito made me feel as if I was in the situation at hand, especially when she talked about her own family experiences. I enjoyed learning about the traditions she mentions. Such as a Quinceanera, a party celebrated when a girl becomes a woman at the age of 15. Others may compare it to a sweet sixteen that most of us have. In some moments of the book it's as if you are with her. Her family, both parents and a younger sister, have lived in Havana Cuba there whole lives. They discover that there Uncle Oswaldo and some others in there family have moved to the United States only to find a marvelous life waiting for them. Mirta's father believes they too will have better lives in the United States. But because of Castro's tight fist on Cuba that is not allowed. Everything in the book flows nicely and will leave you wanting to read on. She does phenomenal research to find stories from each historical person she mentions. I thought this was an excellent book for the most part. My problem with Finding Manana was the historical sections dragged on at times. Things that could have been left out, that weren't that important, and it made some chapters hard to comprehend and confusing when to much was mentioned. Other than that I found Finding Manana to be well written, informative, heartwarming, and inspirational. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn while they enjoy reading, people who want to learn more about Cuba or Fidel Castro, and anyone who wants a great read to share with friends and family.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 28, 2009
an interest for anyone
The novel Finding Manana by Mirta Ojito is a must read. She has written many other works that are popular to several young adults. The majority of them surround the topic of Cuba. She is a very intelligent woman who brings alot of her knowledge about her home country into her writing. Finding Manana is just one of Ojito's great books. It won the 2005 favorite book award given by Newsday and the Dayton Daily News. This novel can be entertaining to read by anyone. It takes place on the island of Cuba. The protagonist of the story is a young girl Ojito. Ojito and her family live in the city of Havana and have always dreamed to one day leave for the United States. That is all her parents want, is to get out of Cuba. Ojito at first struggles however to leave her friends and every comfort she has in her hometown. Cuba is only getting worse, not better. When a man by the name of Hector Sanyustiz crashes into the Peruvian Embassy, Ojito's parents want to get out more than ever. Their family in Miami is their escape route if only it were possible to receive their exit visas. "Mirta, she called out, a little out of breath. Open up. It's the police. You are leaving." These are the words to a brighter future for Ojito and her family. If it only it were that easy to get up and leave the overpowering of Fidel Castro. Throughout the novel, a journey is taken back in history through the hardships in Cuba. All anyone is looking for is freedom. This is a recommended book to those who would enjoy a taste of history in another country. It is factual and interesting throughout. Ojito shares her life and adventure through her eyes for everyone else to enjoy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2009
Finding Manana, a very personal memoir of a Cuban exodus focuses on the journey of an adolescent girl during the 1970`s and 80`s. The author, Mirta Ojito, does an amazing job of portraying ¿revolutionary Cuba¿ from the perspective of a non-supporter of Fidel Castro. The chapters alternate from how current events in Cuba affected her life, to the historical focus on the actual event. <BR/> Ojito begins the novel in 1975, when she is only in 6th grade and outlines Cuban life and the fears she faces about leaving her home and friends to flee to America. The historical aspect of the novel makes it easier to understand what¿s happening between the United States and Cuba at the time. President Carter was willing to help Cubans make a better life in America if only Castro would allow him. In chapter three Bernardo Benes is introduced as a man from Miami who wants to free Cuba¿s prisoners and tries to settle agreements with Fidel Castro over a series of meetings. All of this takes place as young Mirta grows to become a teenager when her family flees to America in the Mariel Boatlift to be reunited with her uncle. The memoir digs deeply into the difficulties families faced in Cuba at the time, from getting little pay to support themselves to hiding from members affiliated with the Revolution. The novel also illustrates how difficult it was for Mirta¿s family to get a Visa to the United States. Finding Manana helped me not only perceive revolutionary Cuba better, but also made me sympathize for Mirta and her family. She often took criticism from her peers and teachers just because she wanted a better life outside of Cuba.<BR/> I thought Finding Manana was overall a wonderful book. It was great because I learned so much about Cuba meanwhile enjoying reading an interesting book about someone around my age. For anyone who is interested in learning more about Cuba¿s fascinating history or is just looking for a great read I would definitely recommend Finding Manana.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 19, 2007
Finding Manana was...
Finding Manana By Marita Ojito Published:2006, by Penguin Books This book is a memoir of a young Cuban girl, having to deal with and growing up in a communist country. Although it is not just about her. She also talks of course, about Castro, but also others, that served as the communications between America, and Cuba. In this book, you get a look into the life of an average Cuban family. She tells you about traditions, like her Quinceanera...'...Traditional coming out party given for Latin girls, akin to a sweet sixteen or a debutants' ball' 'this happens when you turn 15'. She also talks about how every family has 'rations' and sometimes, the country 'Would receive a large shipment of hand soap, ... and then there would be no soap for months' This book was good in some was such as: She takes you inside her Cuban life, and fills you with ideas about different governments and politics. It shows her growing up, and invites you to see the Spanish customs. The only negative comment I have about the book is that, at some points, it could be dull and lack luster, like in a few chapters, when she only talks about political people, it gets a little monotonous. This book has many learning points, one it shows you the government views on America. Two, it shows how the country views people who leave it as ¿Worms¿ or traitors. And three, it makes you realize how good we actually have it here in America. Yes, I would recommend this book because although at some points it was uninspiring, but for the most part, it was thoughtful, stimulating, and interesting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 17, 2007
The Perfect Blend
Ojito's 'Finding Manana' finds just the perfect blend of moving personal memoir and compelling history. I found myself at times moved, at other times obsessively glued to an excellent recounting of this important political event in Cuban-American exile history(the Mariel Boatlift). Ojito surprises with her very balanced recounting of the Mariel events, which, along with almost everything else about Cuba and America, can sometimes fall prey to a politicized retelling, either from the Left or Right. Ojito rises above that temptation, avoiding the use of simplistic slogans about the Cuban regime, while at the same time exposing the everyday brutality and desperation that Castro has wrought. You won't be disappointed !Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 19, 2006
In the book Finding Mañana by Mirta Ojito the main subject in the book is leaving Cuba.There are many different themes. The main theme is struggling. The main character is a sixteen year old Cuban girl, named Mirta Ojito. She lives with both her parents and a younger sisters. They have lived in Havana, Cuba all there lives. Mirtas family wants to get a visa and leave Cuba, so they can have a better life in the United States. Mirta struggles with school, home, friends, grades, and her environment. She works very hard to make her family proud. Mirta Ojito, her younger sister and both her parents lived in Havana, Cuba as a middle class family. Life was normal for Mirta, until the communist started to change her life. The government was interfering into their personal lives. In the winter of 1975 when Mirta was eleven, she had to work at a camp. ' In the morning the camp leaders would wake us up at quarter to six with a loud yell '. She would have to work in the fields day and night, on Sundays her parents could come visit her. When Mirta turned sixteen. On Sunday, February 10,1980, her parents came to visit her. Things went very badly and Mirta said to her parents. ' Okay, arrange the papers for the visa, I said. Do what you have to do! ' ( page 74). After that things in Mirta's life begin to change. In school she was a good revolutionary child, with good grades and always saving her money. But after her16th birthday, she began to slowly let go of her city and her life. ' ...ever since my sixteenth birthday, when we had talked of leavening for the United States.....My parents allowed me more freedom then ever.' ( page 124). On Wednesday, April 23, Mirta woke up to her mother crying, telling her that they were able to leave Cuba. Right away they all had to take only small, important things. Mirta immediately thought ' Today is the day I leave Cuba ' ( page 168). But she did not know 100% that her uncle would come today to bring them to the United States. On May 7 they finally were able to leave.The police took them to a closed area where they were many other people waiting for their boats to leave Cuba. They put them in camps. Mirta's family's camp was called the Valley Chief, and were known as the Valley Chiefs. My reaction to this book is very complex. As a sixteen year old girl in the United States, I can not really relate to how Mirta is feeling. But to learn about her daily life and things about Cuba are very interesting. I would recommend this book to any age. This would be a very good book for people who want to learn about Cubans history, and how hard it was to leave Cuba. I would not recommend this book to anyone who does not like to read books with flash backs. This is a very good book to learn new things about Cuba.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 12, 2006
I loved it!!!
Finding Manana is a heart-warming memoir by Mirta Ojito. This story is very sad and touching. It is what I would call bittersweet. It's a warm yet cold story about a girl from Havana, Cuba. She lived through a major even that changed her life forever. During that time, Mariel boatlift was on, and Cuban families from the United States picked up a boat and went to pick up their relatives in Cuba to bring them to the United States. Fortunately, Mirtica, and her family took advantage of their opportunity, and headed to the United States in a boat called Manana sailed by Capitan Mike Howell. I found this book to be very suspenseful, as well as enjoyable. I brought back memories to my parents because they lived during that period of time. Therefore, it was easy for me to understand the concept of this book, and even if I didn't understand something, my parents would explain detail by detail to me, and it would all make sense. I recommend this book to someone who is interested in learning about how many Cuban families go to United States, or to someone who lived through this time period, so they can see what it was like for someone else.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 12, 2012
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