A beautiful yet mysterious woman has entranced the city of Ybor. Her looks have captured everyone’s attention. But, what gained her notoriety is her origin. There are many theories on who she is or where she came from. Whatever version of her story they have, it seems that the whole city can’t get enough of this extraordinary woman who calls herself Consuelo.
A Time in Ybor City: Cuban Tampa in the 1930s by Ron Kase follows an extraordinary mixed-race woman called Consuelo Middleton Davis, who arrives in the city in 1932. She rose from being a domestic servant to the mistress of a wealthy industrialist, and in a while in Ybor, the lover of maestro George Gershwin. She becomes the fascination of both locals and travelers. Even while keeping everyone intrigued, she has managed to establish herself and even prosper in the community.
A fascinating book that evokes amazing images that come to life. The music, history and story of the genius of George Gershwin is so well written its as if you are right in the middle of all the action. Excellent book. I couldn't put it down. — Songman
What a great and thought provoking story. I didn't know very much about George Gershwin or the 1930s, but now I do. Consuelo the main character is an amazing combination of beauty, intelligence and the emerging woman who just now has become a force in America. —J.Elbow
This historical fiction is full of tales of the city that has become the home of Cuban culture in the United States. It takes the readers back to 1930’s Ybor City and gives a perspective of what life was like in this community famous for the best Cuban cigars. It was also a place known for embracing people from all races, ethnic backgrounds, or gender. They flocked to Ybor City to work in the cigar factories, partake in the ever flowing mamba, and found so much more. A Time in Ybor City gives an accurate depiction of the city and the life in it in the 1930s, giving a glimpse into the lives of its wealthiest residents as well as the ordinary people that were the lifeblood of the city.
Review by Samantha Jaret
Ron Kase is a sociologist who retired from Ramapo College after twenty-five years, where he was associate vice-president for grants and sponsored programs and taught writing and project development for the graduate program in educational technology. He also worked at the School of Dentistry of Fairleigh Dickinson University and at the New York City College of Technology. He has written three published novels, three regional history books, and edited two social science texts.