Sunday, December 21, 2008
Review-Lima Nights, by Marie Arana
Lima Nights,by Marie Arana, The Dial Press,pp,246pages,978-0-3458-2,
Release date: December 30, 2008
Lima in 1986 is a pluralistic society of race, economics and social class. Carlos Bluhm, white, married and father of two sons, comes from money and lives in a mansion. Maria Fernandez, a marginalized member of the city is a Peruvian with dark-skin who lives in the slums. She struggles to survive by working two jobs. At night, Maria works in a tango bar, where she is hired to dance with the male customers. The salacious dance club is in a seedy section of the city and Carlos happens to be there one night when Maria is working. After meeting Maria he becomes obsessed with a monomaniac drive to be with her. He even goes so far as to make a comparative checklist to weigh pros and cons between Maria and his wife. The game begins as Carlos wonders what can he be thinking? In his mind he knows they are diametrically opposed in all ways.
My favorite character was Maria who demonstrated a vivacious spirit and tenacious will, with a personality full of contradictions; complex yet simple, young yet wise, childlike yet mature, poor yet rich.
This book had me flipping pages frantically expecting a great finish, as the author crafted increasing suspense. As the story ended, I felt like I ran into a brick wall. Lima Nights is a wonderful sensual love story depicting racial and class prejudice and society’s intolerance. Arana’s obsessive lovers, have an allure and chemistry that will steam glass with their passion.