Beautiful Cuban Woman “Cubana Linda”

New Historical Novel
Author: Ava Soteras-Gutierrez

A 1791 revolt in Sainte Domingue, (later given the Taino name of Haiti), motivated 33,000 of its white, largely formerly French citizens to seek refuge in Cuba within the next decade.  Their presence was particularly felt in the in easternmost area of Cuba, known as Oriente. Here they pioneered  coffee production, adding wealth to the province.
Alejandrina is the daughter of one of these French refugees, Edouard d’Estrade, and Mariana, the woman he meets and marries in Cuba, a woman, of both Taino/African heritage. Alejandrina is forced into a loveless marriage, has five children, and in the last stage of her life, finds happiness with an Irishman and moves to Key West.
Remaining in Cuba, Alejandrina’s daughter, Antonia, anxiously tries to save her family during the Ten Year War and keep their enterprises unscathed as the Spaniards and the Mambises pursue a ‘scorched earth’ war with one another, leaving more than 200,000 dead and the coffee and sugar plantations destroyed. .
Domitila,  another brave Cuban woman, lives through the 18-month siege of Sancti Espiritu, her hometown, one of many facing starvation due to the war tactics of Spanish General Valeriano Weyler  as he sets up ‘concentration camps’ in specific areas of the island.
The soft-hearted Juana, her daughter-in-law, survives the Spanish-American War, and lives in the village of Casablanca, near Morro Castle, during the first decades of the new Cuban republic.
Juana’s daughter, Consuelo, is artistic, rebellious, and anxious to travel beyond the shores of her island. She leaves and begins her odyssey, along with her daughter, Rita Luisa, as they travel through Central America, Mexico, and finally set roots in Oklahoma.
Cuban women have faced life with dignity, with an ability to overcome, encapsulated in “Cubana Linda.” They move forward even while facing political struggles, a diaspora, and an unrelenting conflict between opposing interests. The lovely Cuban woman, with her charm, courage, intelligence, and beauty, is inevitably the victor – Viva Cuba Linda!

Back to Top