After five mysteries, Garcia-Aguilera (Bitter Sugar, 2001, etc.) offers a tawdry romantic comedy about family and adultery among the upper echelons of Miami’s expatriate Cuban community.
Margarita enters the last two months of a yearlong leave from the law firm where she’s already a partner knowing she must decide soon whether to return to her career as an immigration lawyer or buckle to her family’s pressure and remain a full-time wife and mother. The problem is that all the actual cooking and housework, as well as most of the care of Margarita’s three-year-old son, is in the hands of hired help, so that Margarita has way too much time on her hands—one reason that she’s vulnerable when she gets a call from her old law school boyfriend Luther, a tall, blond, blue eyed Wasp who never breaks a sweat (except when the sex is really good). After their three-year romance at Duke, Margarita had returned to her upper-class Cuban community while Luther ended up in New York. Their long-distance relationship fizzled and Margarita ended up marrying Ariel. From a more humble Cuban background and with more liberal political views, Ariel, also a lawyer, won acceptance from Margarita’s very traditional family only after his profitable victory in a headline-making personal injury case. Margarita loves him and considers herself a devout Catholic with a strong sense of her Cuban roots (at least twice she wishes Castro dead). But after one short lunch with Luther, she’s swept off her feet, and a passionate affair begins. Soon Luther asks her to leave Ariel and marry him. Then Margarita discovers that, thanks to collusion between Ariel and her mother, she’s pregnant. And either man could be the father.
Miami and its Cuban elite deserve better than two-dimensional characters with bad taste in expensive clothes, cars, and home decor.