island and ocean under a cloudy sky

A Delicate Marriage Book Tour

I’m so pleased to be part of “A Delicate Marriage” book tour, the excellent debut novel of Margarita Barresi.


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.

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

ISBN-10: 1639889302

ISBN-13: 978-1639889303

Print length: 352 pages


Hello Margarita and welcome to the blog! Please tell us a bit about yourself…

Hello! I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and came to the mainland to attend college at Boston University. I started out as a journalist and moved to a successful career in marketing communications and wrote for many brands, including Bausch & Lomb, Dunkin’ Donuts, Frito-Lay, and Avon. When I decided to stay home with my young daughters, I dipped my toes into writing parenting essays and memoir pieces about growing up in Puerto Rico in the 1960s and ‘70s. Once I became an empty nester, I dove full-force into fiction writing and wrote “A Delicate Marriage”. It’s been a dream come true.

“A Delicate Marriage” is your debut novel based in Puerto Rico. Who or what inspired you to start your writing career? 

I was an avid reader as a child and still am. Maybe because of that, writing came easily to me in school. My teachers praised my work and some were surprised to learn I aimed to study business in college. I was not adventurous enough to pursue a fiction writing career at that time, because I feared the starving artist life. Well, the business thing lasted one semester and then I found my people in the communications school. I’d never considered that writing careers existed outside of publishing.

Photo of Margarita’s grandmother in the late 1930s. Those are real orchids pinned to her dress.

“A Delicate Marriage” is a thoughtful romantic novel as well as combining 20th century history of Puerto Rico, relations with USA and a lot of Latino character, of course. I absolutely adored reading about Isabela – her life, her loves, her romantic notions, her family, Marco, her children, her newspaper.  I enjoyed your way of writing that I found myself immersed into her life. Did you base a lot of your characters on you and people you’ve met in life? Which character did you enjoy writing about the most?  Which character was the hardest?

Marco and Isa are loosely based on my grandparents. My grandmother was a debutante with acting aspirations and my grandfather was a poor, but ambitious young man. Their courtship unfolded very much like Marco’s and Isa’s, with my grandmother’s father trying his best to sabotage their love. Beyond that, the story if fiction, although little bits of my grandparents are recognizable here and there. So in a sense, they were both the easiest and hardest to write. 

I must say, this is a great debut novel and congratulations on being voted Readers Favourite in many publications.Was writing the novel easier or harder than you had envisaged? 

Thank you! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. I was already a writer of sorts, so I had no illusions that writing a novel would be easy. Nor did I presume to think that because I could write an annual report, I could write a novel. I started out by taking novel writing classes and kept at that for a while. Slowly, the story started taking place and I became confident enough to write it on my own. 

Being a proud Boricua yourself, having been raised in Puerto Rico… what are the top 3 things/places you think a visitor to Puerto Rico should see or do?

This is such a hard question, because unlike on many Caribbean islands, there’s so much to see and do in Puerto Rico. I’ll go with three classics that will give visitors a taste of everything the island has to offer.

1. Spend a day on the beach, preferably Isla Verde beach in the San Juan area or any beach outside of the city. 

2. Hit the mountains for a tour of El Yunque Rain Forest, the only tropical forest in the U.S. national forest system.

3. Spend a day in colorful Old San Juan for a trip back to the 15th century, shopping, and amazing Puerto Rican food.

Aerial view of Old San Juan

Hypothetically speaking, if “A Delicate Marriage” was made into a film, which actors would you like to see playing the main roles of Isabela, Marco etc?

I would love to see two unknown Puerto Rican actors cast as Isa and Marco. They’d be plucked from obscurity for these roles and continue to great success.

Are you a bookworm? What is your favourite genre and/or authors? Kindle or actual book? 

I am a voracious bookworm. Insatiable, really. I finish a book and immediately begin another. There is no time gap, ever. I also like to hold a book in my hands, to feel and turn the pages. I understand the convenience and immediacy of ebooks, but they’re not for me.

I love historical fiction, particularly stories set in the 20th century that are not war-related. Fiona Davis is a master and all her books focus on a historic New York City building. I also enjoy reading Renee Rosen, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Benedict. 

 Is “A Delicate Marriage” available to purchase worldwide?

Yes, online at Amazon.

Margarita at a bookstore the first time I spotted my novel in the wild.

Growing up had you always wanted to be an author or did you have other career aspirations?

As a child, I was fascinated with the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations, and with ancient Egypt. I wanted to be an archeologist!

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I really like the Kate Spade aesthetic, that sort of modern retro look. I’m curvy, so I gravitate toward fit and flare dresses in stripes or geometric prints. I love a capri pant with cute flats, too. If the outfit is somewhat neutral, I like to add a pop of color, usually with fun shoes. And always, always an appropriate matching bag. I’m not a one-bag-fits-all-outfits person. 

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Not really. I usually have something very specific in mind and will google that—say a green and navy striped sweater—to see what the options are. Then I’ll visit the sites of the options I like. I guess I by item, not by store.

Margarita in a street in Old San Juan

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I’m currently on the hunt for a long camel coat, but with a modern flair.

Boots or Shoes? 

I grew up in Puerto Rico, so sandals—preferably flip-flops— are my go-to footwear, but I’m not sure they qualify as shoes. I do love a pointy kitten-heeled pump, though.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc


Insta:  (@margaritabarresi)

FB:  (Margarita Barresi)


Great talking to you Margarita and thanks for inviting me onto your book tour! Thank you also for the review copy of A Delicate Marriage – it was a fabulous, engrossing read!

Linda x

All photographs have been published with the kind permission of Margarita Barresi

Share This!
Pin It