Ballad of Another Time: A Novel
A tale of love and honor in which Rosendo Arbona discovers that his young wife Dominga is missing. When he learns that she has run away with one of the young farm workers, Rosendo embarks on what will become a an almost mythic journey to find Dominga, avenge his honor, and discover the deeper purpose of his travels.
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Set in Depression era Puerto Rico, a struggling coffee farmer from the highlands discovers that his wife has fled with their farm hand who is from the coast. His subsequent journey to find the two and defend his honor leads him into a world he did not seem to know existed. The meeting of the Jibaro mountain culture and the fast-paced, cosmopolitan Afro-Caribbean culture of the coastal lowlands creates a sub-plot that quickly places the original human drama in a larger historical and political context. This novel is best read in Spanish due to the rich cultural messages conveyed by a uniquely Puerto Rican vocabulary. If you do not possess Spanish, it is still a must read for students coming to terms with a moment of turbulent change, unprecedented internal diaspora and search of self within a US colony.