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March 21, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

DREAMING IN CUBAN by Cristina Garcia (Ballantine: $10; 245 pp.). In her first novel, Garcia blends the stories of three generations of women in an eccentric Cuban family. The setting continually shifts, from Havana to New York City; from dreams to a reality that seems only slightly less bizarre. Although "Dreaming in Cuban" shows considerable promise, much of it reads like a rough draft: The characters and their involuted relationships need to be more clearly delineated. Garcia is obviously trying to emulate the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but the magic doesn't quite come off and the rabbit stays inside the hat.

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