Felicia's second husband, Ernesto is a pale, gentle, and prudent restaurant inspector. He and Felicia are married shortly after they meet, and he dies before they can sanctify their marriage with directions from the santero and before they can even celebrate their union.
Felicia's third and final husband, Otto also dies shortly after they are married, although for more dubious reasons.
Herminia is Felicia's best friend from childhood until her death. Herminia's father is a babalawo, a high priest of Santeria, and Santeria would become a sanctuary for Felicia for her entire life. She would come to believe that tragedies in her life were attributed to times when she strayed from the directives of santeros and santeras. Felicia's first words to Herminia, on the beach when they were just six years old, were: "Will you save me?" This established their roles as protectors of each other.
Celia (Almeida) del Pino
Celia is the matriarch. She is strong-willed, an intuitive and caring mother, a hopeless romantic (given that she continues to write Gustavo clear into the 1950s), and she is an ardent supporter of the Cuban Revolution. When her husband, Jorge, is injured in an accident, Celia is surprised how affected she is by this, concluding that she does really love Jorge, just not as passionately as Gustavo. It is difficult to say which of her children she is closest to. In proximity, she is closest to Felicia, but Felicia's life is so fraught with strife that their relationship often revolves around those troubles. Lourdes is in New York and, her geographical difference coincides with their polar opposite political beliefs. For most of the novel, Celia's youngest child, Javier, is in Czechoslovakia although it is alluded to that he shared Celia's political views. Even though Pilar left Cuba when she was only two, Celia's closest bond is with her. They have an inherent connection. Pilar says she listens to Celia talking to her at night from Cuba. Celia is proud of her own role in the revolution (she watches the coast at night from her porch), and she serves as a judge for the People's Court in Santa Teresa del Mar. Celia is as in tune with the natural Cuban landscape as she is with the political. When she is alone, watching the sea, she seems to be most at home with herself.
Felicia del Pino (Villaverde, Brito, Cruz)
Felicia is the youngest daughter and most emotionally troubled character; this trouble can be largely attributed to tragic events in her life. Felicia's first husband, Hugo, is abusive and she eventually resorts to drastic actions to get rid of him. Her second husband, Ernesto, dies tragically in a restaurant fire just days after they are married. Her third husband, Otto, also dies shortly after they are married. Felicia's twin daughter's, Luz and Milagro, are strangers to her. They ally themselves with their father and refer to her as their "not-Mama," because of her seemingly delusional poetic musing and the fact that they saw what she did to Hugo, their...
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