Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where the Flame Tree Blooms: A Memoir

Where the Flame Tree Blooms is a collection of stories used to create a vivid memoir of Ada's childhood in Cuba. Some of the stories she includes are small vignettes of events from her childhood; others are stories of her family that were told to her by her grandmother and great-grandmother about their childhood and young adulthood in Cuba.

Ada paints a vivid picture of the not only the landscape of the area she lived in but of the cultural landscape of Cuba during her childhood. There is such an intimate quality about the stories that I felt like I was transported to Ada's childhood and was hearing these stories at the knee of her grandmother or sitting beneath the roots of the flame tree with a Ada as a young girl. She brings the members of her family to life on the page with her vibrant descriptions of their physical features, their dress, and their mannerisms. Each story brings into focus the compassion and strength of the people Ada writes about, and what stands out most about each of the characters is their zest for life.

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