About the Book
Home Front Lines imagines the agency of women of color, acting under the social constraints of 1962, who aim to protect their children during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They are two sets of mothers who are sitting targets during that tense time: African American military wives on an Air Force base outside of Washington, D.C. and Cuban sisters living in Matanzas, Cuba, 90 miles from the Florida Keys.
The American mothers make evacuation plans for their children, while the Cuban mothers plan to send their children away in a boat headed across the Florida straits. Neither set informs their husbands of their intended actions. Life goes on, and the African American women deal with the complications brought on by one character’s past indiscretion with a white officer, while the Cuban sisters send off their children and search for their “disappeared” brother. Their husbands have their own secrets as well.
This is a story of women. Women that you know, only they are adorned with different cultural robes and live elsewhere. Their identical impulses to keep their children safe arise from the same heart, but the rules of character and action dictate different narrative arcs and consequences, each according to their ways and means. But just as an arc can suggest a complete circle, these seemingly diverse stories, laid side by side, trace an encompassing ring around that heart.