“Everywhere you turn in Adios, Happy Homeland! you find a beautiful meld of tradition and modernism, an admirable mastery of irony, and a lyrical deposition on exile and homecoming. Take this balloon ride across the Carib-Cubano-Americano sea and landscape and you will relish the view.”

—Alan Cheuse

“Incantatory. . . . Loving Che displays the same radar for the telling emotional detail that Ms. Menéndez’s impressive [In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd] did. . . . [Loving Che] appears to take as its model the intense, lyrical voice of Marguerite Duras’s best-selling 1985 novel The Lover. . . . Menéndez’s story captures the electrifying, all-consuming power of erotic love, its ability to make one see the world anew, to awaken dormant energies, to inspire potent art, to infuse the mundane with the gleam of significance. . . . A work that . . . expands the talented Ms. Menéndez’s fictional terrain.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Inventive and hypnotic. . . . For all the overripe passion, sweaty intimacy and willfully magical prose, this is one evanescent pas de deux. . . . [Loving Che is] Menéndez’s deliciously mischievous take on the exile’s endless capacity to blur history — both personal and political — into myth. . . . A tart fable about history and identity that is equal parts detective story, travelogue and fever dream.” —Mark Rozzo, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Loving Che deftly captures the fluid sense of identity that accompanied the now mythic early days of Cuba’s revolution. . . . Menéndez is at her best when depicting [the] social detail, revealing what life is like for many Cubans today. She captures Cuba’s potential, its desperation and decay, and also its dark humor.” —Ruth Lopez, The New York Times Book Review

“[Menéndez] brings alive the spirit of Guevara and the heart of the revolution in a novel that aches with longing, loss and lust-driven love. . . . Menéndez pays tribute to her people and her culture in Loving Che.” —Carol Memmott, USA Today

“Splendid. . . . What makes Loving Che truly memorable is Menéndez’s intense imagining of Teresa’s Havana. . . . Che’s photographs. . .add bright images of youth and nostalgia, snapshots of a lost world.” —Richard Wallace, The Seattle Times

“[Loving Che] puts [Menéndez] in the company of other Latino writers such as Junot Díaz and Sandra Cisneros . . . [Menéndez] works to capture the spirit of revolution and unrest in Havana in the late 50’s and early 60’s.” —Vanity Fair

“The pain and loneliness of exile. . .permeates this poetic, fragmentary first novel by Ana Menéndez. . . . The narrator’s attempt to fathom the nearly unfathomable nature of truth, particularly personal truth, enables Menéndez to conjoin love and history and politics into a powerful mélange. One of the strengths of this book is that while its backdrop is one of the most politically charged events since World War II, Menéndez’s focus is on a much more intimate drama; she uses the revolution because it illuminates her theme of separation. . . . Menéndez’s literary sensibility also reveals itself in strongly, often beautifully poetic prose.” —Timothy Peters, The San Francisco Chronicle

“[Menéndez] explores this explosive era in [Cuba’s] history in gorgeously atmospheric, intimately rendered prose.” —Elle

“[Menéndez] vividly renders a wounded yet optimistic Havana, wracked with both violence and exhilaration in the early years of the revolution. . . . She deftly weaves many well-known details from Che’s life into the figure of a dream lover.” —Katie Millbauer, Seattle Weekly

“This is a rich, unpretentious book, with a series of lessons on the power. . .of memory. . . . Menéndez’s voice is fresh, inviting, and original.” —Carlyn Kolker, The Washington Times

“A moving commentary on the Cuban diaspora in Miami. . . . Loving Che is at its best when it subtly details the Cuban migration. . . . Menéndez does an excellent job conveying the longing some Cubans have for their homeland.” —Andrea Ahles, Star-Telegram

“The power and beauty of the framing narrative. . . suggests that Menéndez may be up to something much smarter and more ambitious than another overtly familiar tale of doomed lovers in exotic circumstances. . . . The writing is gorgeous, and the portrayal of Havana under the revolution as one of romantic decay is. . . sharply rendered. . . . A finely tuned modernist novel in the tradition of Italo Calvino or Vladmir Nabokov.” —Chauncey Mabe, San Antonio Express-News

“[Menéndez] has written an evocative, if fleeting, love letter to a salt-of-the-earth guerrilla lover, a vanished world and the eternal ruins of memory.” —Anderson Tepper, Time Out

“A beautiful and quite possible reinvention of history.” —Alan Cheuse, NPR

“It is a story about romance, memory, fiction and betrayal, all strong themes within the Cuban exile community. . . . Menéndez paints a rich and dazzling portrait of revolutionary Cuba, and anyone interested in the country will be delighted by the book’s strong and specific sense of place.” —Chelsea Cain, Bookmarks

“We are given a sense of the exciting changes and fears, hopes and mores of those heady and volatile early days of the revolution. Loving Che is a well crafted contemplation of history and myth, storytelling and memory.” —Robert Birnbaum, The Morning News

“[Menéndez’s] details are so palpable, her narrative so believable and her research so deeply imbedded in her story . . . that readers could easily be hoodwinked into thinking they were reading a memoir instead of a novel. . . . In addition to being an exuberant and poetic look at loss and memory, Loving Che is also. . .an enticingly erotic re-imagining of the passionate first days of the Cuban Revolution.” —Chris Watson, The Santa Cruz Sentinel

“Menéndez writes with sensual beauty and eloquence. The narration is flawless, and the drama of pre- and post-revolutionary Cuba comes alive with vivid and often lyrical detail.” —Nancy Chaplin, KLIATT

“Menéndez’s book is clever, and well constructed. The style of Teresa’s writings is that of romantic fiction; the other parts more investigative memoir; the descriptions of Cuba rich and resonant. She spins out her enigmas with skill, giving readers food for thought about loss, and about the impossible dualities of Cuba itself and of individual lives within it.” —Julia Sutherland, The Financial Times

“The story, flicking back and forth in time as one would flick through a photo album, paints a powerful portrait of Cuba, and dwells on the fine line between the shadows of imaginings and the solidity of reality.” —Philippa Logan, The Oxford Times

“We are given a sense of the exciting changes and fears, hopes and mores of those heady and volatile early days of the revolution. . . . Loving Che is a well-crafted contemplation of history and myth, storytelling and memory.” —Robert Birnbaum, Central Journal News

“In Ana Menéndez’s first novel, Loving Che, a young Cuban-American woman grapples to find [a] sense of self. . . . [The young woman’s] quest for discovery turns into an exhilarating detective story, where most of the clues are embedded in very raw emotions.” —Weirton Times

“Convincing and compelling. . . . Both parts of [Loving Che] – in Teresa’s voice and in her daughter’s – do considerably more rather than less to evoke the flavor and feeling of Havana, both the exotic and the dismal, with doubts, anomalies, and long, deep affections and sorrows intact.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Evocative. . . . Teresa’s poetic memories . . . are rich in sensual detail . . . and full of the terror and exhilaration of revolution. . . . The glimpses of vibrant 1950’s Cuba and Teresa and Che’s perfectly rendered relationship make this a moving novel from a writer to watch.” —Publishers Weekly

“Eloquent. . . . Menéndez effortlessly switches between the two voices — that of the daughter, questioning but pragmatic, and of the mother, romantic, daring, and dramatic. . . . The writing is consistently beautiful. Highly recommended.” —Mary Margaret Benson, Library Journal

“[Loving Che] brings the Cuban experience to life.” —Michael Spinella, Booklist

“Like the story of Cuba itself, [Loving Che] is ultimately a history of disillusion, the pain of exile, and the continuing search for a credible sense of identity and place in history. . . . Teresa’s account aspires to, and very often achieves, that peculiarly Spanish blend of poetic luxury and economy of expression perfected by Lorca.” —Stephanie Merritt, The Observer (UK)

“A refreshingly different take on a subject and country about which few people are neutral.” —Nickie Witham, City Life (UK)

“[A] poised and elegant first novel. . . . It is breathtakingly convincing. . .its mood is perfect.” —The Irish Tatler (Dublin)

“Loving Che is an engrossing narrative that enraptures the reader as the layers of the story unfold. Sensuous and poignant, Menéndez’s achievement reads like poetry.” —Sara Kristof, Island Bookstore, Corolla, NC, Book Sense quote