Fascinating in its intricate engagement with social, political, and cultural forces at play in a historic period in Guatemala and, to some extent, New York Not one of my favorites, though It was a bit of a disappointment after reading Goldman s outstanding Long Night of the White Chickens. Several years ago, I read Goldman s The Ordinary Seaman and loved it So I finally picked up this recent novel of his, because it sounded equally interesting Alas, it was quite the disappointment Set in the late 19th century, The Divine Husband follows the tale of Maria de las Nieves Moran from her youth in an unnamed Central American country as first a schoolgirl then a novice nun through her young adulthood which eventually lands her in New York City then Massachusetts The narrative also takes a close look at the lives of Maria de las Nieves love affairs and suitors, who include a great Cuban writer and revolutionary, an half American adventurer, a clever and devoted entrepreneur, and at least two foreign dignitaries The story and characters had a lot of potential, but none of it worked There was too much sprawl and not enough sweep the story never hung together properly The changes of focus were also largely unsuccessful I always felt like there wasn t enough of Maria de las Nieves in the story, even though she was nominally the main character At the same time, when the narration switched over to the stories of the suitors and lovers, I felt like they were treated too distantly All of the elements were fine individually, they just never added up to much. One Of The Most Talented And Award Winning Writers Of His Generation, Francisco Goldman S Third Novel, The Divine Husband, Appeared To Wide And Rapturous Acclaim Beginning With A Single, Possibly Scandalous Love Poem By Jose Marti, Cuba S Greatest Revolutionary Poet Hero With An Infamous Secret Love Life, The Divine Husband Is The Story Of Maria De Las Nieves Moran, A Former Nun Forced Out Of Her Convent By A Revolution In A Central American Capital While Making Her Way In This Metropolis Nicknamed The Little Paris, She Enrolls In A Writing Class Taught By Jose Marti, Under Whose Spell Maria De Las Nieves And Her Classmates Quickly Fall Soon After, Maria De Las Nieves Flees Her Home For New York, Where Marti Has Also Relocated A Crucial Interval That Shaped Marti S Consciousness Nearly A Century Later, An Elderly Woman In Massachusetts Hires A College Student To Investigate Her Claim That She Is The Illegitimate Offspring Of Marti And Maria De Las Nieves Mixing A Lovingly Re Created Historical Past With Often Hilarious, Ironic, And Moving Conjecture That Brings To Life An Unforgettable Heroine And Her Remarkable Collection Of Friends, Nemeses, And Rival Suitors, The Divine Husband Is A Magnificent American Novel Convoluted and humorous, set in 19th century Guatemala, it follows the story of Maria de las Nieves and her many suitors Not a quick or easy read but well worth the time. Set in Central America and New York in the late 19th Century, this is the story of Maria de las Nieves Moran, a clever, strong willed girl of mixed heritage half Irish American, half Mayan Indian In childhood, she and her closest friend, Paquita, discovered the pleasures of making themselves sneeze with fibers of wool extracted from their clothing When Paquita, at age 12, began to return the attentions of a rapacious Liberal reformer nicknamed El Anticristo, Maria de las Nieves made Paquita swear not to surrender her virginity before she did Immediately, the scheming Maria de las Nieves announced her vocation, and joined a convent. This was a wonderful intense story of Mar a de las Nieves, an unconventional woman from the late 19th century whose life weaves in and out with Jose Mart , Man of Poetry and Freedom Francisco Goldman s writing style is intense, non linear and descriptive in the most detailed way It was hard to say in which direction the story was heading, but with patience and commitment, everything comes together in the second part of the book And when you finally read all the way to the end, you start savoring the whole story as a whole and find the common themes and coincidences that happens throughout the book This is the perfect book to discuss with somebody else It s definitely the literature college type of book, where you can easily make an essay out of Definitely recommend it, but please commit to it the best part is reading it completely. I love Francisco Goldman s non fiction work and I was intrigued by the idea of a novel about the poet and revolutionary hero Jos Mart So I was disappointed that this novel didn t live up to its promise Still, it s not bad as a source of interesting factoids about Central America at the end of the 19th century. I picked this up in a school staff lounge Teachers generally have very good taste, and this one was no exception It had a wonderful gaggle of colorful and three dimensional characters, lots of historical details Up until the end, it was a great page turner The end was a little weak, but other 95% was so strong, it really didn t subtract from my enjoyment very much. I truly believe that books speak to you, a lot of times in ways that the author least expected, and this was one of those books I will warn you, though, that the first couple of chapters can be a bit off putting because, for me, it was hard to get into at first I can t give up on a book, though It is impossible I merely take a break, placing it on my bedside table so that I can pick it up again in a few days or weeks and begin again I am so glad that I did that with this one The story follows a young woman from a convent when she is young, through her adult life, showing her relationship with God, her best friend, the man that she falls in love with that she can not have and, later in life, her young daughter. I am currently reading this book It is very interesting, as it depicts my country, Guatemala, in the time of Justo Rufino Barrios I pertains to the time Jose Marti spent in Guatemala, and as I enjoy poetry it is an interesting novel of the time However, it is not a fast paced reading and at times it becomes repetitive.
- 468 pages
- The Divine Husband
- Francisco Goldman
- 14 May 2018 Francisco Goldman