A Hundred Fires in Cuba. In the spring of 1956, a young American photographer falls in love with a Cuban line cook in New York. They have a ten-week affair which ends when Immigration arrests and deports him—but by then Clare Miller is pregnant. Few Americans know the name Camilo Cienfuegos. All Cubans do. In real life he was the most charismatic of Fidel Castro’s commanders, until his small plane vanished only months after Fidel came to power. In this novel, Clare must choose between the stable Cuban businessman she has married and her first love, Camilo. Though a true revolutionary, Camilo likes to dance and drink. He likes women, and too many women like him. His courage is legendary, yet when he comes to visit Clare he’s afraid of his own daughter and her moods. Clare worries that he’ll never make a good parent, but she cannot resist him.
“Thorndike weaves a complex love affair into one of the hemisphere’s great dramas, the Cuban Revolution. Evocative prose, timeless conflicts, and an intimate story full of surprises.” –Natalie Goldberg, author of Wild Mind and Let The Whole Thundering World Come Home“
Thorndike is a talented, experienced writer, and Clare and Camilo especially are fully developed, attractive characters…. A highly recommended rendering of a love affair and mysterious slice of Cuban history.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The prose is elegantly crafted…. A Hundred Fires in Cuba is a sophisticated historical novel that effectively deploys a love triangle to capture the essence of a remarkable figure and the historic period that produced him, laying bare the yearnings of the heart.” —Foreword Reviews
Kirkus Reviews, one of the book trade’s most influential review magazines, gave me a starred review last summer. I was happy to get it, as they’re quite parsimonious with their stars. Today I’m happier still, as Kirkus just released their choices for Best Indie Fiction of 2018. There are seven books on the list, and A Hundred Fires in Cuba is one of them.