Another great review of A Cuban Summer

by Capra Press on October 15, 2013

Publication Date: September 2, 2013

Its 1954 and Tony De La Torre is 13-years-old and coming of age in Havana, Cuba.

The author’s publisher, Capra Press, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.

The 50’s must have been a remarkable time in which to come of age. Customs and the idea of what was appropriate changed so dramatically and the human view of the world was expanding at light speed through the magic of television. The older generation clung to the past while the younger generation raced to the future. Tony is a child of the 50s growing up in a changing Cuba where old world customs and superstitions rule while time stops for no man and neither does progress. Mendoza’s

Cuba is colorfully and nostalgically written. His affection for the country and time shine through the narrative. The country of Cuba is a character unto itself in A Cuban Summer and truly one of the best ones.

Tony comes from a wealthy family which affords him certain luxuries and freedoms that other characters of the era may not enjoy enhancing the experience for the reader and as the character heads for  broadening our experience of a long gone Cuba. We’re able to leave Havana and follow him to Varadero Beach where his grandparents own a home. Tony’s family is restrictive in that they don’t talk about a politically changing Cuba as discussion of politics is forbidden. Employees of the family help shape Tony’s view of the world and enable him to do things he would never have imagined being able to do that ultimately shape who he is as a character. To Mendoza’s credit, everything about the way Tony is written screams of an authentic 13-year-old character. He’s obsessed with the female form and self pleasure though he’s painfully shy around girls. He wants to live his life as rambunctiously and mischievously as he can but he does have responsibilities of which he is painfully aware. Tony is a character written so well that he springs from the page. Mendoza’s skill has the reader stepping back in time with fully realized characters in a well described world.

A Cuban Summer was a fun read. Tony and the story are written with a respect to real human experience. Tony experiences laughter, love, sadness and the sweet

pain of growing up. His journey through this story was one that we’ve heard a thousand times with truly special and unique spin.

Mendoza is a great writer and A Cuban Summer is a fabulous novel. If you like nostalgic works that speak with the spirit of a long gone era, pick this one up today.

Tony Mendoza is a photographer and author. He has written several books on the subject of photography. His first book with Capra Press was titled “1985, Ernie: A Photographer’s Memoir.” A Cuban Summer is his first novel.

If this sounds like a book for you, you can order it from by clicking the title anywhere in this review.

For more information about Tony Mendoza and his work, follow the links below:

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