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A Delicate Marriage, by Margarita Barresi

From glittering ballrooms to verdant mountains to poverty-stricken slums, A Delicate Marriage takes the reader on a vivid tour of Puerto Rico forty years after becoming a U.S. colony, a time of great change and political turmoil on the island.

Isabela, a wealthy woman, sacrifices her artistic aspirations to marry Marco, a penniless man dedicated to improving conditions on the island. As the island’s insular government enacts pro-U.S. policies, Marco builds a real estate empire while struggling to maintain his populist principles. Meanwhile, Isabella feels unfulfilled in her traditional role as a wife and mother and becomes disillusioned with Marco’s shifting moral compass. She begins to identify with anti-U.S. factions, leading a dangerous double life that puts her family in peril.

As political violence threatens their paradise, Isabela and Marco question whether their marriage, like the island’s relationship with the U.S., should continue. Margarita Barresi’s debut novel celebrates Puerto Rican culture while delving into themes of class, oppression, and the effects of colonialism through the lens of a marriage.

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