Straightaway, readers are invited to join the ceremony devoted to the Virgin of Candlemas in the opening pages of Queen of Bones. The novel begins on Oyá’s Feast Day and features a scene with a character recognizable to readers of Teresa Dovalpage’s 2018 Havana mystery, Death Comes in through the Kitchen.
The focus soon shifts to two new characters: Sharon and her longtime partner, Juan. They live in New Mexico but Juan is making travel arrangements; he has not returned to Cuba since 1994, when he left on a raft and arrived in the United States barely alive. He has a “complicated relationship” with his homeland and these complications arouse Sharon’s interest steadily until she decides to accompany him.
Sharon experiences Cuba as a tourist. Relative to her, Juan experiences his homeland as a Cuban, but resident Cubans perceive Juan as belonging more to La Yuma (America). But…
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