Celia, the matriarch of the family, is an old woman at the outset, but she is nevertheless a strong supporter of the new ways that Fidel Castro (El Lider) has imposed upon her native country. Her religious views are somewhat ambivalent; while she is nominally a Catholic, as most people in her country are, one of the earliest scenes in the novel involves a Santeria ceremony. Celia is first seen guarding the coast of Cuba against a replay of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and she is last shown at a Santeria ceremony following the death of her daughter Felicia.
Lourdes lives at the opposite extreme. She has fled to the United States and runs a bakery in New York City. She opens a second bakery during the second section of the book and dreams of franchising a series of bakeries. Lourdes, though born in Cuba, is never seen in that country until the epilogue, when she appears at her sister’s funeral.
Pilar, Lourdes’s daughter, is very American; she is interested in punk rock and is attempting to become a bass player in a rock band. On the other hand, she is also very interested in Cuba, and she finds it difficult to tolerate her mother’s fanatic hatred of Communism. She feels contempt for capitalist society and misses her older relatives in Cuba.
Felicia, who never leaves Cuba, is extremely opposed to Communism. Like her mother, she often has visions of the deceased Jorge.
Luz and Milagro, Felicia’s twin daughters, are...
(The entire section is 405 words.)