May 13, 2015

MOTHER'S WEEK: A FALLING STAR by Chantel Acevedo

 
Join the Latina Book Club this week as we feature books with strong, courageous mothers. 
 And remember our Book of the Month, THE CRUEL COUNTRY, another tale of the power of a mother's love. 
Happy Reading.  Happy Mother's Week.

 

"My mother said I came back to her at sea. She said I appeared  out of  nowhere, like a falling star, and that I had changed from what I once was..." --- Stella Maris



Chantel Acevedo heard about the 1980 Mariel Boatlift from a friend whose family actually came over from Cuba during that time.  And, from that kernel of an idea she went on to write A FALLING STAR -- the story of two mothers and two daughters written in a very creative style where the past and the present follow and overlap, and where four heroines speak from their hearts. 

BOOK SUMMARY:  Magda Elena Del Pozo and Solamaris Morales grew up in a Havana, Cuba. Different as night and day but best of friends.  Magda Elena has a husband and two beautiful daughters. Life under Castro's rule is hard on them and they decide to join the Mariel Boatlift and begin a new life in America.  Solamaris is a woman alone with a baby, but when her baby dies there is nothing and no one for her anywhere. The crossing will change the lives of these women forever.

Daysy Maria Del Pozo is a Florida teenager living in a house with prison bars and an overprotective mother who won't let her do anything fun.  She doesn't understand her mother or her melancholy, and so Daysy pours out all her frustrations into her dream journal.  Stella Maris Morales-Quinn lives in Pittsburgh with her stepfather.  She's a precocious 10-year old, depressed over her mother's suicide and obsessed with all things Cuban.  She is watching a TV special when she first sees the Del Pozo family talking about the Mariel crossing.  As fate would have it, Stella runs into Daysy and her family while on vacation in Florida.  Suddenly the chance meeting reveals old secrets and new discoveries that will once again change the lives of these families forever.

Readers will find this book an emotional, tragic and heroic tale about mothers and daughters; love and loss; death and rebirth; forgiveness and redemption. The Mariel Boatlift changed the lives of millions in Cuba and in America.  Acevedo does an excellent job of capturing those feelings.#



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  A FALLING STAR (Carolina Wren Press) was the 2013 Doris Bakwin Award Winner. Chantel Acevedo's first novel, LOVE AND GHOST LETTERS won the Latino International Book Award and was finalist for the Connecticut Book of the Year.  SONG OF THE RED CLOAK, a historical novel for young adults, was published in 2011. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines, including American Poetry Review.  Visit her at www.chantelacevedo.com.


NOTE:  For those readers interested in learning more about the Mariel Boatlift, there are several worthy documentaries on You Tube.