The Red Umbrella
by Christina Diaz Gonzalez 284 pg.
In a moment, their whole lives changed.
Lucia, her brother Frankie, her father Fernando, and her mother Sonia live in a small town in Cuba named Puerto Mijares during the communist revolution in 1961. The revolution is changing her town and the whole country in big ways. Young children are forced to join youth groups and revolution support organizations to learn to take part in the revolution. Young men and women are training to become brigatistas (members of the brigades). Lucia and her family don't want any part in the revolution, but pressure grows as family and friends are trying to force them to be active in the revolution and Fidel Castro's growing communist government is enforcing more and more laws restricting the rights of citizens and is beginning to eliminate his anti-revolutionary opposition in brutal ways. Lucia's family and her best friend Ivette are really the only people she can trust now. Things become too dangerous for the family as friends and family are being arrested or killed and people whom they've known their whole lives are betraying them. So Lucia and Frankie are sent to live with a Catholic church in Miami harboring child immigrants from Cuba. They soon get adopted and move with the Baxters to a small town in Nebraska and officially start their lives as American citizens. Will the two siblings learn to adapt to their new lifestyle? Will they ever see their parents or Cuba again?
Spotlight Review by Joshua Laurent