The Korticos are from a well-endowed pygmy tribe in West Africa; the Mandingas are descended from a tribe of tall Ghanaians. Both families have been brought to Cuba as slaves. Oscar Kortico and Jose Mandinga, inseparable friends, marry a pair of sisters, and in the tiny hamlet of Pig's Foot (Pata de Puerco), five generations of these families will live out their colorful lives through the tumultuous sweep of Cuban history. That history extends from slavery through the war of independence, exploitation, dictatorship, and compromised freedom, to the present day, when teenager Oscar Mandinga goes seeking the fabled village of his ancestors.
Carlos Acosta's first novel is a swiftly plotted island folktale with warmth, humor, magic, and a light allegorical touch. It's a history grounded in sights and smells and human foibles. And it's an enchanting and unexpected debut from an author of many talents.
Don't be put off by either the title or the fact that this is a translation.
I really enjoyed this book which does not give you a chance to get bored as it moves from scene to scene with a good rhythm.
The narrator tells the story well and brings the characters to life. He does a grand job and gives a believable performance.
Much of the story is told through the first person, but at other times the reader takes the role of story teller. Whichever viewpoint is being used doesn't detract from the overall story which held my interest throughout.
The story has many facets. There is the human interest aspect,history, morality, good and bad fortune, love , bitterness and death. This book has all that humanity has to offer, both good and bad.
The end of the book is a total surprise (I won't spoil it by letting on). The end was not at all what I expected, but it WAS very good and brought a smile to my face. Pig's Foot is unlike anything I've read before. I'm glad I took a chance on an unknown.
Go on and give it a try!!!
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