Waves by José Ramón Torres is a powerful historical fiction that can be read as a piece of political protest, a succinct and compelling social commentary on Cuba. In this thrilling and engaging work, the author unveils a Cuba that is so often masked from the eyes of tourists and readers while exposing the disenchanted world inhabited by the poor, the halves-not, and marginalized.
Angel is the protagonist, a symbolic character whose hopes and dreams, despair and fears represent those of the millions of Cubans who are tired of living in their country. Angel sees no hope in his country. He is tired of everything – famished and uncertain – but he has a family to provide for and he’s ready to do anything to create a future for them. The only problem is that he can’t provide for his family while in Cuba. There is only one path to take, a treacherous path, filled with danger and uncertainty, but it’s the only path: migration.
Ramón Torres immediately plunges readers into the heart of intense action with powerful descriptions of people flooding the embassy seeking protection. From the very first page, he chronicles the predicaments of “pilgrims of the earth,” people who are ready to do just about anything to leave a country which is theirs. The writing is beautiful, at times evocative and highly descriptive, capturing the different emotions of the compelling characters and describing the intense conflict lived at different levels and stages by the characters. The story is laced with historical undertones and facts that will awaken readers to the immense suffering of many silent people. José Ramón Torres is a skilled writer, one who will be remembered as the “voice of the voiceless” in the tradition of Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentinian writer.
Waves could have been just a book like many others, but it stands apart because it talks about crucial issues affecting the world’s political landscape and it talks about them in a very compelling way.