Sunday, August 1, 2010

Countdown: Latina Fiction

Ok... I'm starting something new. The first of every month, I'm choosing a genre, a country, or a topic and picking 5 different books related to that subject to discuss. What does countdown mean? It means there's a 5 star, a 4 star, a 3 star, a 2 star.. and one that really stinks, a one star.

This month's Countdown is Latina fiction.

FIVE star read:
In The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. First published in 1994. The setting is the Domincan Republic during the dictator Trujillo's reign. It is a fictionalized acount of the four Mirabal sisters, three of whom were murdered for being involved in the underground revolution. Lots of plotting, heartache, feelings running high, and Latina anger and pride. A superb read.

FOUR star read:
Beautiful Maria of My Soul by Oscar Hijuelos. First published in 2010. The setting takes place in both Cuba and Florida. It is fictional account of the woman, Maria, that inspired the hit song by the Mambo Kings, Beautiful Maria of My Soul. Thoroughly engrossing story, but too much about Nestor's pinga size. The sex was also a bit much.

THREE star read:

Last Train From Cuernavaca by Lucia Robson. First published in 2010. The setting is Mexico during the days of Zapato and revolution. Loosely based a real woman bandit, but a good 3/4 of the story is about a hotel owner and her romance with a soldier. More Angel, less Grace, I say. Also, the revolution stuff grew very confusing at times, leaving me wondering just who was killing who.

TWO star read:

Bitter Grounds by Sandra Benitez. First published in 1997. The setting is El Salvador. It is about another revolution. What I was expecting: A historical fiction novel following three decades of women and showing the world of coffee plantations, the workers struggles, and the history of El Salvador. What I got: A telenovela following three decades of "desperate housewives" and showing the world of extramarital affairs and who is having whose baby.

ONE star read:

Our Lady of the Night by Mayra Santos-Febres. First published in 2007. The setting is Puerto Rico. It is a fictional account of the life of Puerto Rico's most famous madam. Why it stank: switching narratives and time jumping. It begins with a grown Isabel then an entire chapter devoted to a prayer, then some nutty old lady that is obsessed with her crotch and praying in between thoughts of her crotch. Ugh.


  1. interesting, I'll be looking forward to your reviews!

  2. Very interesting concept.