El Encanto Kindle Ò Kindle Edition

El Encanto “The girl looked at me with sad eyes and my heart trembled Those eyes seemed like uicksand easy to fall into and impossible to climb out of”I knew not far into this book that it was going to be one of my favorites for the year For starters it was so Interesting with the cultures imbedded Historical fiction is a newer genre for me and being that this one has romance intertwined had me all wrapped up There were happy parts sad parts heart wrenching parts I truly loved this story ❤️ I didn't realize when I bought this audio book I was getting a sappy romance story with mobsters star crossed lovers and all the trimmings I thought it was historical fiction about Cuba before the revolution Ah well It wasn't so bad that I had to stop listening Cynthia Farrell and the always good Thom Rivera did a nice job on the narration and the history seemed fairly accurate I give it 3 12 stars Lovely storyThis is a beautiful historical love story that spans 50 years It tells of soul mate love friendship and survival Old Havana comes alive in this book I'm not familiar with the history of Havana during this era so I can't speak to it's historical accuracy but the settings and story felt true It doesn't read like a translated book although it is It took awhile for me to get into the book but once I did I felt like I had been transported to another world Admittedly I didn't have high expectations for this one I only read it because it's fiction in translation and it's about Cuba where I've been The writing is painfully pedestrian and the story is filled with romantic cliches The historic details were well done though Susana Lopez Rubio has crafted a very compelling story line about life in Havana in the 1950'sThe genre of this novel is Historical Romance I usually am not attracted to this type of book Most romance to me seems contrived Not so this bookPatricio leaves a destitute Spain to make his fortune in Havana His salesmanship prowess is so potent he lands a job in Havana's most prestigious department store El EncantoCésar Valdés is a don a gangster a mafioso He 'owns' Havana and all the law enforcement officials in itGloria is a young beautiful girl of 13 César takes a fancy to her and marries her at this tender ageOf course you know where this is going Patricio and Gloria fall madly in love despite the dangers involved The story continues throughout their lives with all the stolen kisses and other events you would expectThis book was offered from First to Read for 199 Worth every penny It is now 4995 stars I enjoyed my time with this I noted that this comes almost on the heels of my having read Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana The time period is not uite identical but discussing the Greene in a group it was noted how that one gave a good feeling about the Havana of the time The Price of Paradise does this even better I knew Havana was a post war place of glamour and glitz The author has been a screenwriter and that skill comes through The book is written in scenes though I wouldn't uite call it cinematic She just does a superb job of placing the reader alongside the characters and I could easily see whatever was going on in any particular scene whether it was in the department store a nightclub or home There are two narrators Patricio and Gloria The chapters don't exactly alternate but it is always clear who is telling the story Because of this those two characters are well drawn The minor characters are caricatures than characterizations The writing style is OK but I think that's not why one would read this book At least it's not why I kept turning pagesStill this isn't literature and I can't find all the stars that others might be willing to give It is perhaps in the lower part of my 4 star group and I hope I'm not being stingy or generous I found the story to be gripping The writing seemed juvenile at some points but I think that has to do with the translation and less to to do with the Authors abilities I would definitely recommend the story I thought I was going to read a good historical novel It ended up being a dime store romance devoid of any substance Great for 14 year old girls In a city as corrupt as it was luxurious those who dared to dream were bound to pay the priceHavana Cuba 1947 Young Patricio flees impoverished Spain and steps into the sultry island paradise of Havana with only the clothes on his back and half baked dreams of a better life Blessed with good looks and natural charm he lands a job as a runner at El Encanto—one of the most luxurious department stores in the worldFamous for its exuisite offerings from French haute couture to Arabian silks El Encanto indulges the senses in opulent extravagance It caters to visiting Hollywood stars rising politicos and prerevolutionary Cuba’s wealthiest power players including the notorious mobster César ValdésFalling in love with the mobster’s young wife Gloria is suicide But Patricio is irresistibly drawn to the beautiful girl with sad eyes a razor sharp intellect and a penchant for both Christian Dior’s clothes and Einstein’s theories Within the walls of El Encanto anything seems possible even a love that promises to heal them and a desire that thrums with the mambo beat of the city itselfIn a reckless love affair that spans half a century Patricio’s and Gloria’s lives entwine time and again challenged by every twist of fate—for in a world of murder betrayal and revolution those who dare to reach for paradise seldom survive unscathed This was a free book if “international” best sellers maybe it was better in Spanish but I doubt it the story was ridiculous the characters were cutouts the writing pedestrian I feel like I must have read a different book from those who gave it such good reviews it wasn’t even a good love story

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