It is 1988 and Rafael Áviles, an engineer at the Cuban Mint in Havana, is a young, earnest Communist Party member living with his ambitious wife, Elena.
When Rafael is drafted to the war in Angola, just as he is about to become a father, he takes a risk to escape the military—convinced he is doing what’s best for his country.
As Communist countries around the world begin to see change, Cuba enters its dire Special Period and Rafael’s family does what it can to survive. Rafael becomes disenchanted at work and, after a disastrous meeting with Fidel Castro, questions his Party ideals. Finally, he’s convinced to do everything in his power to leave the island and improve his family’s future.
This is at once a love story—for family and country—as well as a portrait of Havana during this tumultuous time.
Melanie Furlong-Riesgo met her Cuban-born husband of 18 years in Prague. They live in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful children.