A Delicate Marriage uses the relationship of a Puerto Rican family to highlight a tumultuous 17-year span in the country’s history.


The Description

Publication Date: October 10, 2023

From glittering ballrooms to verdant mountains to poverty-stricken slums, A Delicate Marriage takes the reader on a vivid tour of Puerto Rico forty years after becoming a U.S. colony, a time of great change and political turmoil on the island.

Isabela, a wealthy woman, sacrifices her artistic aspirations to marry Marco, a penniless man dedicated to improving conditions on the island. As the island’s insular government enacts pro-U.S. policies, Marco builds a real estate empire while struggling to maintain his populist principles. Meanwhile, Isabela feels unfulfilled in her traditional role as a wife and mother and becomes disillusioned with Marco’s shifting moral compass. She begins to identify with anti-U.S. factions, leading a dangerous double life that puts her family in peril.

As political violence threatens their paradise, Isabela and Marco question whether their marriage, like the island’s relationship with the U.S., should continue. Margarita Barresi’s debut novel celebrates Puerto Rican culture while delving into themes of class, oppression, and the effects of colonialism through the lens of a marriage.

The Review

Puerto Rico’s journey to become part of the United States serves as a rich backdrop for A Delicate Marriage.

Author Margarita Barresi taps into historical events to bring the time period to life. Political life on the island in 1935 is fraught with discord as different factions vie for control. There’s a definite contrast between the rich and the poor, which serves as the guiding theme.

The story centers around a young rich girl named Isabela who longs to become an actress. She chafes at the restrictions placed on her, rejecting all of the suitors lined up by her father. She turns her attentions on a poor man, thinking her father will give in so she can get what she wants. Her character seems somewhat shallow and immature, which works well with the storyline.

Marco, despite growing up poor, is determined to be successful and carve out a good life for Isabela and their future family. While he is not without flaws, he carries the story with his steadiness.

Yet politics soon interfere, leading Isa down a potentially destructive path. Marco faces the choice of whether his marriage, like the island’s relationship with the United States, can be salvaged.

A Delicate Marriage uses the relationship of a Puerto Rican family to highlight a tumultuous 17-year span in the country’s history.Buy Links

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About The AuthorRaised in Puerto Rico by her grandparents, Margarita Barresi grew up hearing stories about the “good old days”—the genesis for A Delicate Marriage, her first novel. She studied public relations at Boston University, and after a successful career in marketing communications, now devotes her time to writing. Her essays have been published in several literary magazines and compilations. Margarita has two grown daughters and lives in the Boston suburbs with her husband and two Puerto Rican cats, Luna and Rico.


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Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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A Delicate Marriage uses the relationship of a Puerto Rican family to highlight a tumultuous 17-year span in the country’s history.4.5-STAR REVIEW: A DELICATE MARRIAGE by Margarita Barresi