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Mr. Timiraos gets very personal in sharing his life and his journey. I couldn't put the book down! I was barely born when the author had to separate from his family in order to secure his future in a free country. I found his Cuban upbringing very loving and similar to my own. I also traveled to Cuba within the last few years and could only imagine her glory days before Batista's overthrow. The author describes both well and takes you with him. If you want to understand the challenges immigrants face, the Pedro Pan story, immigrants extraordinary contribution to the United States, the history of the Cuban/American relationship, the good hearts of so many who helped, the risks and fears many parents experienced raising a young family in the 60s and the courage to persevere, even when very young, this book is for you. I found many parallels with our world today. The history the author shares must be remembered! Great book!
The book was very informative. We knew what had happened in Cuba but to be told through the eyes of a child was sad. Sent to a new country not speaking the language and not knowing if you would ever see your parents again - don't know if I could ever do it. Also, it makes you think with the wrong person in power something like this could happen in any country. really enjoy reading this book.
From December 1960 to October 1962, over 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban Children were evacuated out of communist Cuba to the US. Separated at age 8 along with his 11-year-old brother from his parents, family, friends, and home, he was transported to a refugee camp in South Florida. Mr. Timiraos does an amazing job of recounting the Cuban Revolution, Bay of Pigs operation, and life in Cuba as a child during these events.
Juxtaposed to these childhood memories is his account and reflections of his return to Cuba and childhood home in Havana as an adult in 2018. In light of the recent Afghan airlift, A TIME TO LOOK BACK could not be a more relevant look at the present.
I found this book a very enjoyable read. Having to leave everything behind in Cuba makes the trip ahead very daunting. Tony had to make decisions in his life at 8 years old that many adults would find difficult. He was fortunate to have parents who taught him persistence and determination at an early age. I liked that he took just a five-year period of his life and focused on that period.
I have to say, I was not fully aware of the Cuban Revolution until this book found me and then I found myself captivated and intrigued by this gentlemen’s story. I do understand certain issues he speaks about, however, being that my own grandparents were immigrants that came to this country seeking a better life when they were young. Now, two generations later, I can only say how eternally grateful I will always be to my relatives who came before that they took the chances they did in order to allow us to have the freedom we get to enjoy.
“A Time to Look Back: Growing Up During the Cuban Revolution” is a highly relevant book written by Anthony Timiraos, who opens his life, heart and past to show readers everything from his childhood memories to sharing a personal account of his own return to his childhood home in Havana in 2018.
For a little background: from December 1960 to October 1962, almost 15,000 unaccompanied Cuban children were evacuated from communist Cuba to the United States. This author’s story shows, in detail, the world he dealt with during that time period. When he was only eight years old, along with his eleven-year-old brother, Anthony was separated from everything he knew and everyone he and his brother loved. Taken from their parents, family and their home, they ended up being transferred to a refugee camp located in South Florida. Not only does he cover that, however, the author also recounts the Cuban Revolution, the Bay of Pigs, and what life was like in Cuba as a child during these historic, drastic events.
Being that immigration is such a huge subject and people coming to his country are still risking their lives in 2021 to find a better life for themselves and their families, this book was most definitely an exclusive insight that was both educational and filled with emotion. Anthony took a cruise to Cuba during the Christmas season of 2018; when this occurred, the memories flooded back, and he shared how he felt as a young boy when his family was made to adapt to communism and were forced to face the communist revolution. He talks about the painful and disheartening feelings—the sheer disappointment that Cuban citizens felt—when they fought, and failed, to return their beloved country to a democracy. He talked about the armed soldiers raiding his family’s home and eventually arresting his own father without cause. And why all of these events became the catalyst for his family to plan their dangerous exodus to America.
Elaborating on the program, coordinated by the Catholic Charites and the State Department called Operation Pedro Pan, he tells us all about him and his brother being a part of this immense journey of the children. He also shows, and grants his kindness, to an America that welcomed him and his brother with open arms (something I personally think we need to work on in the present), and how a collection of citizens, organizations, companies and corporations worked to help the boys and care for them, offering heartfelt empathy for those seeking asylum from dangerous societies and countries.
I was riveted to every word of this man’s story, from the positive to the negative experiences he faced. This story is not only a great one to read, it is a tale that will be ingrained in your heart and soul for decades to come. 5-stars!
A Time To Look Back is a wonderful page-turner, full of astute insights re the Cuban Communist Revolution, but more importantly, the effect it had on a young boy forced to flee his country and family during this tumultuous time. It has both great heart and intelligence while sharing its protagonist's fascinating, unique adventure.
Just can’t put it down. I love history! The Cuban/Castro revolution through the eyes of a young boy. A unique, personal and insightful story. 5 star reviews.
This book is a great combination of a heartwarming tale and a personal history of the fall of Cuba under Fidel Castro. Mr. Timiraos tells a beautiful story of the many challenges his family faced and their ultimate survival and success in the United States.