This novel definitely covers some little known but interesting American and Cuban history. I was unaware that after the Civil War, freed slaves were kidnapped and sold to plantation owners in Cuba. This is a fictional story of Everett Townsend, a naval officer for the union who is assigned to investigate the slave trade in Cuba. He is determined to stop this atrocity after finding a sinking ship with slaves drowned in a locked hold just off the coast of Key West. However, Everett is conflicted by his own familial connection to the owning of slaves through his Cuban grandmother’s large sugar cane plantation and her wish that Everett take over the running of her enterprise.
I really appreciate the amount of research that went into this novel based on historical facts and that I now have better awareness of these events that took place after the Civil War. I didn’t enjoy the book as well as other reviewers as I found it bogged down with too many characters, unnecessary side stories and awkward dialogue. Including a romance between Everett and Emma added nothing to the story. I was really bored at times. I guess this just wasn’t the book for me but I’m glad that other readers liked it so much.