How many generations before a person succumbs to the trauma and tragedy of their mothers before them? How many generations before a person overcomes the trauma?
This is a book of choices: of having them and not; of making them and not; of being forced to choose against want, against need; of how and why and who has the privilege to choose principle over survival.
Garcia interweaves past and present, following generations of women as they make hard choices. Each voice is distinct, each woman showing us a choice that altered their paths and every woman’s path who came after her. These women are real, full-bodied and -blooded, their braided lives as beautiful and joyful as they are painful.
TW: abuse, addiction, trauma
A sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born
In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.
From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals—personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others—that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story; it is a story of America’s most tangled, honest, human roots.