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Publisher's Summary

In a city as corrupt as it was luxurious, those who dared to dream were bound to pay the price.

Havana, Cuba, 1947. Young Patricio flees impoverished Spain and steps into the sultry island paradise of Havana with only the clothes on his back and half-baked dreams of a better life. Blessed with good looks and natural charm, he lands a job as a runner at El Encanto - one of the most luxurious department stores in the world. 

Famous for its exquisite offerings from French haute couture to Arabian silks, El Encanto indulges the senses in opulent extravagance. It caters to visiting Hollywood stars, rising politicos, and prerevolutionary Cuba’s wealthiest power players, including the notorious mobster César Valdés. 

Falling in love with the mobster’s young wife, Gloria, is suicide. But Patricio is irresistibly drawn to the beautiful girl with sad eyes, a razor-sharp intellect, and a penchant for both Christian Dior’s clothes and Einstein’s theories. Within the walls of El Encanto, anything seems possible, even a love that promises to heal them and a desire that thrums with the mambo beat of the city itself. 

In a reckless love affair that spans half a century, Patricio’s and Gloria’s lives entwine time and again, challenged by every twist of fate - for in a world of murder, betrayal, and revolution, those who dare to reach for paradise seldom survive unscathed.

©2017 by Susana Lopez Rubio. Translation © 2019 by Achy Obejas. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Price of Paradise

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  • Kathleen
  • 11-06-19

Simply wonderful!

This is an historical novel you can really get lost in. The vivid descriptions of Cuba's tropical scenery made me want to go there. The character development is complicated and deep. The story itself is so involved and convoluted it was hard for me to put down. Even though I grew up during this time period I only knew what we saw on the TV news in America. This book brought it to life.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Faye Goldberg
  • 02-06-19

The price of paradise

Worst book I’ve recently read and could not finish it would like my money back

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-20

Mesmerizing

It paints the time so beautifully that you feel as if you are there... living the moments and passing the time as they are. I could not put it down and could feel their emotions. It was mesmerizing!

1 person found this helpful

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  • kyle williams
  • 05-01-20

Endless love

All those who do not know the real Cuba of 1940, 1950, 1960, and beyond can listen to this story and know that love of heart and home last forever. An island so exciting, glamorous, and mystical it's still referred to and remembered as paradise.

1 person found this helpful

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  • happyinflorida3
  • 13-10-19

Excellent book

This is not my usual genre of book, but I must say I ended up extremely pleased. The author did a very good job of painting a picture of Havana and the different times throughout the story. The characters had a lot of depth. I was able to step into their shoes and see and feel the story through them.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-07-19

I couldn't get past the narrator

Listened for 3 minutes and I couldn't take the narrator. Too bad seemed pretty good story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • VLR
  • 08-09-19

Lovely Romantic Story - Mediocre Performance

Cynthia Farrell'S mispronunciation of Patricio's name (as "Patrihio") ruined the performance for me. Too bad!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Ann Warmouth
  • 18-04-21

very descriptive

Enough to keep you guessing which twist was going to be next. Kept me interested not knowing what was next. Loved how the story tied in with the history of Cuba.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-21

best Ever

beautifully performed, well structured story with great historical references. I could hear the sounds and sights of Cuba

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  • Charlotte Guzman
  • 12-11-20

Beautiful Love Story

What a lovely love story. I loved the characters and the atmosphere of old Cuba. Would like to read another book by this author.