In the middle of a moonlight night on a deserted beach east of Havana, three men slide a flimsy makeshift raft into the surf. A lonely father, a disillusioned ex-soldier, and a frightened professor—all desperate to escape a society gone wrong—are driven to risk an incredible journey. They must somehow cross the more than ninety miles of treacherous waters that separate Cuba from the Florida Keys.
Juan Cabrera, Professor of Physics at the University of Havana, whose father "disappeared" after the Revolution and whose lover, Carmen, a well-known painter and propagandist, defected in Berlin. Raul, a fearless working-class adventurer just returned from the war in the jungles of Angola, who longs for connection and total love. Andres, the oldest of the three, whose last wish in life is to be reunited with his daughter, Margarita, who lives in Miami.
Together these three very different men defy the elements in a rite of passage that tests their spirit as harshly as the sea tests their endurance. When word reaches Miami that three balseros have set out just as hurricane warnings begin to come over the radio, a Cuban-American pilot takes to the sky in his private plane in a frantic search to locate the three. In this powerful novel, J. Joaquín Fraxedas has crafted an epic story of men, women, and the sea that will change their lives forever.