I couldn't put this book down. This is a story about a Cuban woman in the United States, but it's really a story about the American Dream. The cover says it all. A woman in a glittery dress and heels . . . mopping. This juxtaposition of fanciful hope and mundane reality runs all through the novel. I highly recommend.
A lovely story written by the author of those beautiful novels, The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love, and Mr. Ives' Christmas, read perfectly by Rita Moreno. The Empress is Lidia, the daughter of the mayor of a Cuban town before Castro, who disgraced her family with her easy ways with a man and was sent to NYC. This is the story of her life as a cleaning woman to the rich who supported her rebellious family after her husband's heart attack. I enjoyed this book, a mellow listen on those long rides to work or wherever, and recommend it.
Although somewhat "plotless" the book develops some wonderful characters. But I have the feeling that the abridged version lost a lot.
His best novel since his Pulitzer-winning "Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love."