Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Title: The News From Paraguay
Author: Lily Tuck
Rating: 2 out of 5
First sentence: For him it began with a feather.
The News From Paraguay chronicles the relationship between Francisco Solano, the future President and dictator from Paraguay, and the Irish courtesan Ella Lynch, who follows Francisco back to Paraguay, bearing and raising his children. The story is set amidst a backdrop of war and violence as Francisco, as President, declares war on virtually all the countries surrounding Paraguay.
There is not much to like about this book other than the first sentence. The story is disjointed, and jumps from character to character, never fully explaining anyone or anything. As historical fiction, it never gave me the feeling that the author really understood the time period and country she was talking about; the exploration into Paraguay's War of the Triple Alliance and its relationship with other South American countries, England, and the United States was superficial at best. Most of the scenes were almost immediately forgettable. I am amazed it won an award.
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