Liana and Amado are two teens living in Cuba during the el perìdo especial en tiempos de paz (the special period in times of peace) in the 1990s. Their story is told by Margarita Engle in her poetry book, Your Heart, My Sky. During this time period in Cuba, many citizen’s basic freedoms were withheld by the government. Cuban natives, like Liana and Amado had very little food. Liana and Amado fall in love while trying to find creative ways to feed themselves, their families, and Liana’s special companion, her dog. Many of their acquaintances choose to attempt a treacherous and extremely dangerous escape to Florida by boat. Liana and Amado must decide whether they should risk it all for a better life or continue to starve and live off of each other’s love and faded dreams.
I thought the descriptive phrases and figurative language that Engle used in this book made the story more engaging. It also helped me to better imagine what living in Cuba would be like during this tumultuous period. Usually I find poetry books to be slow and not worthwhile. Fortunately, this was not the case with this particular work. The story was conveyed in a way that was both descriptive yet appropriately paced.
This book was incredibly moving. It made me very grateful for the life that I live and the food that I eat. I would recommend this book to any poetry lovers.