Love and Ghost Letters [NOOK Book]

Overview



On the outside, Josefina Navarro’s life seems fortunate enough—she lives with her father and her nursemaid, Regla, who raises her after the death of her mother in a luxurious home in Vedado, one of Cuba’s wealthiest districts. She attends society dances and is courted by all of Havana’s elite young bachelors. Enchanted by the rituals of her nursemaid, Josefina learns about the profound mysticism inherent in even the most mundane affairs. Though she is pampered, Josefina feels that her life is without passion or...
See more details below
Love and Ghost Letters

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview



On the outside, Josefina Navarro’s life seems fortunate enough—she lives with her father and her nursemaid, Regla, who raises her after the death of her mother in a luxurious home in Vedado, one of Cuba’s wealthiest districts. She attends society dances and is courted by all of Havana’s elite young bachelors. Enchanted by the rituals of her nursemaid, Josefina learns about the profound mysticism inherent in even the most mundane affairs. Though she is pampered, Josefina feels that her life is without passion or excitement. Her father, Sergeant Antonio Navarro, a Spaniard by birth, is a stern and demanding man whose past is a tightly kept secret.
When she meets and marries Lorenzo Concepción, a poor, reckless young man, the sergeant tells her, “So, you have chosen him…and you will be hungry and miserable all your life. The couple moves to El Cotorro, a poverty-stricken town that is far removed from the Vedado plazas and carefully tended gardens Josefina knew. Lorenzo begins to leave her for months at a time, “looking for work,” but in reality, womanizing and carousing all over the island. Even after the birth of two healthy children, Josefina is not happy. This is not the life she had envisioned.
During a political maelstrom, history brings the sergeant to El Cotorro to quell a riot, where he is attacked and presumed dead. But perception is reality on an island in which darkness and light commingle, and magic and truth are one in the same.
When Josefina begins receiving letters from her father, she believes that what she holds are heaven’s missives, ghost letters. Through the letters, Josefina comes to know her father intimately, as a ghost and guardian, as he reveals the truth about his life. In the act of writing and reading, she has found a love to fill the empty places in her heart.
Set in Cuba and Miami, covering nearly fifty years of the island’s history, LOVE AND GHOST LETTERS unfolds the lives of the Navarro-Concepción families in the patterns and permutations of memory, and conjures a Cuban setting that evokes mysticism and magic.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This debut from a first-generation Cuban American whose work in secondary education has won her two Fulbright awards describes the relationships between motherless young Josefina and both her police sergeant father and her nursemaid. Raised in a sun-drenched wealthy enclave of pre-Castro Havana, Josefina grows up lovingly cocooned by the magic and rituals of her nurse, Regla, and is denied nothing material by her doting father. After Josefina's marriage to a wastrel husband, her father disinherits her and then, presumed dead after a riot, he heads for Miami. So it seems magical to Josefina when she starts receiving letters from her father-presumably from beyond the grave. These letters simply chronicle 30 some years of intimate, multigenerational family ties, from the 1930s to the 1960s. While Acevedo's novel lacks the complexity of other recent Cuban American works, e.g., Cristina Garc a's Monkey Hunting, it is still a welcome addition to the growing genre.-Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinniville, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Acevedo's debut novel is a multigenerational story of life and love in Cuba from 1934 to 1969. When Josefina Navarro is born, her nurse foresees an unhappy life. As a young woman, Josefina seems determined to realize this destiny. Bored with the privilege she has known, she desires romance and risk-both of which are embodied in Lorenzo Concepci-n. When Josefina marries him, she leaves Havana for a squalid village, and she trades the protective love of her father for her husband's persistent infidelity and aversion to gainful employment. Years pass, miserably. After he almost dies in a riot, Antonio Navarro determines to reconcile with his daughter. Unfortunately, Navarro has been reported dead, and, arriving at Josefina's house, he overhears what he thinks is satisfaction as she speaks of his death. Despondent, he leaves Cuba for Miami. From there, he writes loving letters to Josefina and he pays El Cotorro's butcher to hand-deliver these missives. Josefina doesn't see these letters as evidence of her father's survival; instead, she decides that he's writing from heaven. She falls in love with the man who-unbeknownst to her-conveys these "ghost letters." Josefina will lose her lover and find him again. She will rediscover her love for her husband, too, after he is rendered silent and immobile by a stroke. She will even reunite with her father, but none of this feels particularly significant. This story is full of incident and detail, but the action seems inconsequential and the lyrical descriptions never add up to real, knowable characters. It hardly matters, then, that Acevedo has doomed her creations to an inverted magical realism, that-with her fake miracle and her fruitless dabblingin Santer'a-she invokes enchantment only to deny it, and she offers little in the way of more mundane hope. Josefina's elderly menage a trois, her daughter's escape to Florida: The first is dubious, the second is only briskly described and both are shadowed by Castro's revolution, introduced by Acevedo in an epilogue. Listless, unfocused, dispiriting.
From the Publisher
“LOVE AND GHOST LETTERS is an enchanting novel; a heartfelt story, it tells volumes about the intimate life and loves of a family in pre-Castro Cuba. Along the way, it captures, beautifully, the atmosphere and emotions of a time which, both Cuban Americans and many an American reader, will find both reminiscent and fulfilling. A great debut." — Oscar Hijuelos
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466852150
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,123,034
  • File size: 391 KB

Meet the Author


CHANTEL ACEVEDO is a first generation Cuban-American, whose childhood combined American modernity with traditional Cuban values. She attended the MFA creative writing program at the University of Miami on a James Michener Fellowship. She has won two Fulbright awards for secondary education.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

On the outside, Josefina Navarro’s life seems fortunate enough—she lives with her father and her nursemaid, Regla, who raises her after the death of her mother in a luxurious home in Vedado, one of Cuba’s wealthiest districts. She attends society dances and is courted by all of Havana’s elite young bachelors. Enchanted by the rituals of her nursemaid, Josefina learns about the profound mysticism inherent in even the most mundane affairs. Though she is pampered, Josefina feels that her life is without passion or excitement. Her father, Sergeant Antonio Navarro, a Spaniard by birth, is a stern and demanding man whose past is a tightly kept secret.

When she meets and marries Lorenzo Concepción, a poor, reckless young man, the sergeant tells her, “So, you have chosen him…and you will be hungry and miserable all your life. The couple moves to El Cotorro, a poverty-stricken town that is far removed from the Vedado plazas and carefully tended gardens Josefina knew. Lorenzo begins to leave her for months at a time, “looking for work,” but in reality, womanizing and carousing all over the island. Even after the birth of two healthy children, Josefina is not happy. This is not the life she had envisioned.

During a political maelstrom, history brings the sergeant to El Cotorro to quell a riot, where he is attacked and presumed dead. But perception is reality on an island in which darkness and light commingle, and magic and truth are one in the same.

When Josefina begins receiving letters from her father, she believes that what she holds are heaven’s missives, ghost letters. Through the letters, Josefina comes to know her father intimately, as a ghost and guardian, as he reveals the truth about his life. In the act of writing and reading, she has found a love to fill the empty places in her heart.

Set in Cuba and Miami, covering nearly fifty years of the island’s history, LOVE AND GHOST LETTERS unfolds the lives of the Navarro-Concepción families in the patterns and permutations of memory, and conjures a Cuban setting that evokes mysticism and magic.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)