Though we all live in one world, sometimes it may feel like we’re living in completely different ones. In Asley L. Mármol’s recently published novel, The Watchers, readers and the characters can certainly understand that feeling.
Mármol, a Valrico resident born in Cuba, released his novel in November 2020. The story follows two separated brothers, Daniel and Emanuel Coen, from Havana, Cuba, along with a mysterious, wealthy and very well-connected family known as The Watchers.
Daniel, who left Havana for Miami many years ago with little to his name, is now a successful CEO of an investment company. Meanwhile, Emanuel, a creative genius skilled in researching and inventing who tends to get into trouble with authorities, still lives in Havana. But their worlds are soon rocked when The Watchers take control of Emanuel, forcing Daniel to go back to his old home to help him.
Mármol began writing in Cuba as the vice director of the literary magazine Jácara, where he published his first book of poems. He started by writing poetry, then short stories, essays and eventually novels.
The Watchers is Mármol’s first thriller novel and his first novel written directly in English. It was written with a rich setting featuring many biblical, historical and geopolitical references, creating, he said, “a story that moves you to go beyond your preconceived notions of the world and history.”
The book explores sides of Cuba that the author noted aren’t touched on much in recent works, like its history with Judaism and links between Cuban and Venezuelan governments. It also shows how different people’s worlds can be, and this is part of how the author expands the limits of reality.
“I like to play with reality to make it in a way so that, even though it’s surreal, it’s possible, but not necessarily real. So, in other words, this world that he’s all of a sudden involved with is never seen in Havana for him,” said Mármol. “The amount of power these people have in Cuba, it’s fabulous, and Emanuel is shocked because these people are unreal.”
When reading the book, he hopes that it connects with people and shows them more about Cuba, the situation and history of Latin America and a whole world that isn’t necessarily portrayed in mainstream media.
To learn more about Mármol and his works or preview The Watchers, visit https://asleylmarmol.com/. To purchase his book, visit https://www.amazon.com/Watchers-Asley-L-Marmol/dp/B08M83XC25/.