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Posted July 28, 2002
Although I Gave You All I Had is an intelligent and entertaining read, filled with many good observations on modern Cuban life, it falls short of being a great novel because it doesn't push the envelope. We aren't shown anything new, and many times it seems like Valdes is trying to out do herself. Constant changes in narration coupled with variations of time and even whether or not characters are alive or dead makes it a provoking yet unnecessarily confusing read. At one point in the novel she states that she does not want to present us with another Pride and Prejudice, yet her story does follow the model. It has the same scent of lonely woman in desperate search of a man that much of Latin America's novels, driven by centuries of machismo, speak. I commend her for showing a critical dissident's view of the island, but wish she could have given us a new tale.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.