‘Sweetness’ reviews

What Others Say About
The Sweetness in the Lime

“The Sweetness in the Lime is a quietly powerful novel—poignant with the sorrow of great loss, uplifting with the joy of discovery. It is also a novel that often takes the reader by surprise. Kimber’s extensive research on Cuba, the land and the culture, is seamlessly incorporated, bringing the Havana scenes vividly to life but never getting in the way. Narrated in Eli’s breezy vernacular, this very human love story moves convincingly through stages of pain and grief toward a sort of reconciliation, as Eli and Mariela find solace and strength in each other and the prospect of building a future together. The tale of Eli Cooper’s gradual awakening into a more complete life reminds us that, though the path to happiness is strewn with obstacles, and though you often can’t see what’s around the next corner, setting out on the journey is sometimes a risk worth taking.”

Ian Colford
Miramichi Reader

“Part love story, part mystery, this engrossing tale of Cuban Canadian connections avoids cliches and gets to the heart of what can happen when we cross borders.”

Karen Dubinsky
author of Cuba Beyond the Beach: Stories of Life in Havana

“In The Sweetness in the Lime, Stephen Kimber weaves a frank story of romance not only between cultures, but across the First World–Third World divide, with all the inherent economic tensions and frustrations, where the poor will risk everything for greener grasses and the rich won’t understand their own wealth. The details of Kimber’s characters’ lives are wrapped around the architecture of Havana, Halifax, and Miami, and the complex cultures and politics of each. Skeptical yet tender and generous, this is a tense, honest and moving tale of latter- life love in the time of post-colonial globalization. You won’t want to put it down.”

–Chris Benjamin
author of Boy with A Problem

“When Halifax-native Elijah Cooper’s life declines from lackluster to outright purposeless, he reluctantly finds himself in the midst of a whole new world: Havana, Cuba. Vividly drawn, intriguing, lyrical, funny and always entertaining, The Sweetness in the Lime is a story about home, friendship, loss and new beginnings; about second chances and the power of loyalty and abiding love.”

–Carmen Rodríguez
author of and a body to remember with and Retribution

“A terrific read, and a beautifully crafted novel, with lots of twists and turns in the central plot. It is both a tender love story and a moving, insightful glimpse into the world of people moving in, and between, two different cultures—Canadian and Cuban. The portrayal of Cuba and her people is both authentic and insightful, and the character portrayals, real and convincing. I enjoyed it immensely, and found it hard to put down.”

John Kirk
Professor of Latin American Studies at Dalhousie University

“… infused with hope—that what we do and who we are really matters, that second chances are possible, and so too is a better world.

—Kerry Clare
49th Shelf