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Eva Luna: 10/23/06

Eva Luna

I have to remember that as much as I like the concept of "magical realism" I, for the most part, don't like the genre. I can think of two books I have actually enjoyed: Macunaíma by Mário de Andrade and The Yellow Sofa by Eca De Queiros. Most of the time the genre leaves me cold, confused and somewhat bored. There are often too many tangents and too much extraneous detail: Eva Luna has these problems. I wanted to read Eva Luna after having enjoyed Daughter of Fortune back in 2003 and having had a moderate enjoyment of Zorro in 2005, although I had felt the author hadn't really understood the character. While there are some beautifully written passages in Eva Luna they didn't flow together to create a feeling of a coherent story or a plot that was actually going somewhere. Nor, though, did it feel like it was written strictly as a mood piece. Poor Eva seemed to be forced to tread water in the middle of all that flowing prose, bobbing her head up whenever the story required her to be present in a scene.

Here's my BookCrossing review:

Eva Luna starts as a memoir of an illegitimate daughter of a maid and an indian. While Eva Luna continues to narrate the story of her life, she is but a passive witness to a disparate group of odd balls who end up becoming political revolutionaries. Their stories are so much more interesting than Luna's. Her constant rambling drags down the story and her role in all of this beyond reporter and maybe lover isn't clear.

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