Skip to main content

Review: Hurricane Dancers

Hurricane Dancers
Margarita Engle




In order to understand the context of the book, you must understand the historical setting. This story is a fictionalized account of the first Caribbean Pirate shipwreck on Cuba in the 1500s. Most of the characters are actual people from history. The only fictional character is Quebrado.

In the beginning of the novel, we meet Quebrado, a slave aboard Bernardino de Talavera’s ship—the first pirate ship of the Caribbean. At this point, Bernardino has captured Alonso de Ojeda and is holding him hostage on the ship as well. Then the hurricane hits. The entire ship is destroyed, and all the surviving crew members have to fight to find shelter on a mysterious island (Cuba).


Quebrado is unique because he can speak two languages, one of which is the language of the “naturals” on the island. He is instantly welcomed by the tribe. Eventually Bernardino and Ojeda find Quebrado living among the tribe. The remainder of the story focuses on Quebrado’s attempts to find his new identity in the world and forgive his former captors. This is not the only story taking place within the novel, however. Being told simultaneously is the story of Narido and Caucubu, two lovers who are forbidden to be together.


Personally, I was only slightly interested in this novel. I think my lack of knowledge and interest in the historical context that the story was based on added to my half-hearted reading. The prose was well written and did carry a nice plot, and there were beautiful metaphors used throughout the novel. Also, I felt that there was a nice message hidden within the short text. Maybe I’m wrong, but I picked up on a hint of self-acceptance in the book's final poems. The final words in the novel are “I am whole,” which is a pretty significant, considering Quebrado's struggles.


My favorite quotes:

(pg. 6) “Sailors call me a boy/of broken dreams, / but I think of myself/ as a place—a strange place/ dreamed by the sea, / belonging nowhere, / half floating island/ and half/ wandering wind.”






(pg. 17) “Shackled to a rotting wall/ in the ship’s stinking hold, / I feel as helpless as a turtle/ flipped on its back, / awaiting the cook’s/ probing knife.”






(pg. 48) “The Woman of Wind/ taught all these creatures/ how to fly./ What will the hurricane/ teach me?”






(Pg. 60) “The storm-boy is young./ He has not yet learned/ that hope is stronger/ than fear.”



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Feature Follow Friday

Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee’s View & Alison Can Read.    

The goal is to increase blog followers and make friends. Basically how it works is you follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. So looking forward to making new blogging friends & following blogs!


This week's question: Do you have any furry friends?


These are my fur babies: 

This is what it often looks like while I'm busy working. As you can tell, productivity is high. 


This is Lilly waiting for her boys to come home. She'll spend the entire day just like this if she's not sleeping next to me in my office. 

This is Roscoe. AKA The Boss. He runs the show around here. And yes, he has a sweater AND a coat for cold weather. 

Book Blitz: Visions by Lisa Amowitz

Vision by Lisa Amowitz Release Date: 09/09/14 Spencer Hill Press
Summary from Goodreads: The light is darker than you think…

High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.

When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer's next victim.

Available from:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Books * The Book Depository

About the Author Lisa has bee…

Armchair BEA 2012 Introductions (day 1)

First, let me start off by saying that I am very excited to be participating in Armchair BEA this year. Since this is the first day of the weeklong event, here are my answers to the interview questions:

Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
Well, the answer the first part of that question, I am a middle school Language Arts teacher in Florida (and probably one of the only people in a coastal city that hates the beach). I’ve been married to my hubby for 10 years and have 2 boys. My house is a constant zoo and I’m turning 30 in a few months. There is a mid-life crisis in my near future, I’m sure, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
I started blogging in December of 2011 out of necessity. Seriously. My students know how easily I am distracted when they ask me about books (I eventually caught on to their tactics), so I started blogging out of a need for more teaching time. (I should go ahead and mention that I never talked books all day—even…