Santa Rita Stories by Andrew J. Rodriguez | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Santa Rita Stories

Santa Rita Stories

4.5 2
by Andrew J. Rodriguez
     
 

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Welcome to Santa Rita, a Cuban fishing town populated by a colorful cast of saints and sinners, con men and fishermen, athletes and hunchbacks, politicians and priests...where everyone eventually knows everyone else's business and the collective memory reaches backward for generations. To help him unravel the deeply rooted traditions and gossip of this tropical

Overview

Welcome to Santa Rita, a Cuban fishing town populated by a colorful cast of saints and sinners, con men and fishermen, athletes and hunchbacks, politicians and priests...where everyone eventually knows everyone else's business and the collective memory reaches backward for generations. To help him unravel the deeply rooted traditions and gossip of this tropical melting pot, fifteen-year-old Carlos turns often to his friend Pedro, a foul-smelling, cigar-chomping vagrant who lives on the docks and is affectionately known as el Viejo-the Old Man. In the course of ten linked stories, Andy Rodriguez brings to vivid life the rhythms of daily life in mid-1950's Cuba, and the transition from Carlos's carefree, nurturing childhood to his awakening to the responsibilities-and possibilities-of young manhood. Carlos resists authority; but he can't resist Pedro's wisdom as the Old Man dispenses advice about everything from the proper method of romantic kissing, to how to avoid judging a book by its cover-dramatized by a tale of Ernest Hemingway and an encounter with a Nazi spy. By the final story, just as Carlos longs to escape the restrictions of a small town and spread his wings in the big city of Havana, we also long, right along with him, to linger forever in the magical, love-filled world of Santa Rita. In the course of ten linked stories, Andy Rodriguez brings to life the rhythms of daily life in mid-1950s Cuba, and the transition from Carlos's carefree, nurturing childhood to his awakening to the responsibilities--and possibilities--of young manhood. Carlos resists authority; but he can't resist Pedro's wisdom as the Old Man dispenses advice about everything from the proper method of romantic kissing, to how to avoid judging a book by its cover--dramatized by a tale of Ernest Hemingway and an encounter with a Nazi spy. By the final story, just as Carlos longs to escape the restrictions of a small town and spread his wings in the big city of Havana, we al

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/19/2015
Set on the docks of the fishing town Santa Rita, Cuba, in the 1950s, Rodriguez’s novel follows Carlos, an adolescent who has cultivated a friendship with Pedro, an old man who lives on the docks. Pedro teaches Carlos about life through telling him stories of the Santa Rita past—stories of Nazi spies, Ernest Hemingway, how to charm girls, and many other important life lessons. The more Carlos hears, the more he yearns to break free of Santa Rita and go to Havana, even as Pedro’s stories about the village’s past cement him to his birthplace. Rodriguez captures Cuba with affection and longing. Though the stories themselves feature commonplace plots, readers will find the relationship between Carlos and Pedro suffused with warmth, enough to make up for the minor frustrations with pacing. (BookLife)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-28
A collection of short stories centering on a young boy coming of age in a small fishing community during the mid-1950s in pre-Castro Cuba.In 10 linked stories, Rodriguez charmingly conjures life in Santa Rita, a coastal town in Cuba, before Castro's revolution. The townspeople are seen mainly through the eyes of Carlos, a young boy growing up surrounded by his colorful neighbors. Chief among them is Pedro, a homeless man who makes the wharf his home and who relates to a wide-eyed Carlos the rich history of their town. As such, the collection encompasses Santa Rita's past and present. Pedro's own story is a fascinating one as he narrates his youthful love for a young woman far above his station. A man of many accomplishments, he also tells Carlos about his adventure transporting aid via train to a nearby village hit hard by a hurricane and of his meeting with Ernest Hemingway during World War II, when the famous American writer and his "hooligan navy" kept watch for German U-boats hoping to sink freighters off the coast of Cuba. Carlos is featured in several stories as well, including two about his relationship with Veronica, a beautiful Jewish girl. The collection ends with Carlos' leaving for a high school education in Havana and his emotional farewell with Pedro, a man straight out of Steinbeck's Cannery Row and who provides the book's true beating heart. Pedro's stories read like tall tales, whereas Carlos' have their roots in timeless stories about youth, like Booth Tarkington's Penrod and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Basil and Josephine Stories. Rodriguez wonderfully evokes the '50s with references to The Old Man and The Sea, This is Cinerama and Argentinean Grand Prix champion Juan Manuel Fangio. His only flaw is in too often adding unnecessary buttons in the forms of lessons or morals at the ends of his stories.Sure to transport readers to another place and time.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781478736981
Publisher:
Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date:
06/11/2014
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.67(d)

Meet the Author

Andrew J. Rodriguez is a student of the human condition who views the writer's craft as a means to enrapture the mind and touch the heart. "Santa Rita Stories"
is his fifth book following "Helen's Treasure: Odyssey of a Ladies' Man," "The
Incredible Adventures of Enrique Diaz," a finalist for both the Book of the Year
Award sponsored by Foreword Magazine and the Best Books Award sponsored by USA
Book News. His second book, "Adios, Havana: A Memoir," won the prestigious
Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Award in 2005, as well as the
Allbooks Reviews Editor's Choice Award. His first novel, the highly acclaimed
"The Teleportation of an American Teenager, is a time-travel adventure that moves from Mongolia to Medieval Venice along the fabled Silk Road. The author and his wife live in Colorado and Florida.

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