"Cooke introduces a world that somehow makes sense in its lack of reason, as understood by American readers. An excellent taste of Cuba today, without tourist plans or political agenda." (Kirkus)
"Absorbing, touching… wonderful vignettes covering the daily lives of Cubans in which their hopes, dreams, and frustrations are revealed." (Booklist)
"Incomparable." (Time Out New York)
The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba has also been called "a tear-through read, full of vitality and compassion" (Deb Olin Unferth), "an intimate, exuberant, poignant account of lives spent waiting for change" (Elisabeth Eaves), "a vivid and sensually detailed portrait of life on a surreal socialist isle in the sun" (Christopher P. Baker), and "a series of vital portraits by [an author] whose sympathy never gets in the way of her search for the elusive truth" (Phillip Lopate).