Monday, November 04, 2019

Enchanted Air

Enchanted Air. Margarita Engle. 2015. 192 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: When my parents met, it was love at first sight.

Premise/plot: Enchanted Air is Margarita Engle’s verse memoir. It covers her first fourteen years focusing on the tension she felt between being Cuban and being American. The way she felt visiting Cuba and her mother’s side of the family was different than how she felt growing up in California. Though in both places she was having a love affair with words and stories. But the tension wasn’t merely internal; Cuba was caught in the middle of the conflict between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. The “Cold War” was heating up emotions. Suddenly to ‘be Cuban’ was a bad thing...but how could such a lovely, amazing, incredible place be bad? Cuba is where her beloved family lives. Cuba is where she rides horses and has adventures. Cuba is where some of her happiest memories are.

My thoughts: I am so excited to read the new follow-up to Enchanted Air. I wanted to reread this one first. I am so happy I did.

Spoken stories are no longer enough/ to fill my hunger./ I crave a constant supply/ of written ones, too./ Each week, I check out/ as many library books as I can carry,/ so many that I feel like a juggler,/ balancing/ stacks/ of entrancing/ pages/ in midair./ When I’ve finished reading/ every book in the children’s section,/ I begin sneaking into the library’s/ grown-up zone, where travel books/ help me dream/of islands. (30).

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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