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Our Lady of the Night: A Novel
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Our Lady of the Night: A Novel

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  105 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews

The epic story of the complex, sensual, tragic, and remarkable life of a legendary Puerto Rican madam

Born into poverty and then abandoned by her mother, Isabel "La Negra" Luberza blossoms into a supremely sensual young woman. Obsessed with attaining aristocratic status—armed with incredible physical presence, indomitable ambition, and keen intelligence—she meets Fern

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Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published April 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Liz Vega
Aug 27, 2014 Liz Vega rated it really liked it
Our Lady of the Night, is the story of Isabel Luberza Oppenheimer, better known as Isabel, La Negra, an important figure in Puerto Rican folklore and mythology. In a raw, sensual, prose Mayra Santos-Febres tells us the story of Doña Isabel, a black woman who through her brothel became one of the most powerful, respected and feared women in her town. A feat made even more impressive by the fact that she came out of nothing, was abandoned as a little girl and had to work as a maid, seamstress, ...more
Ann
Oct 22, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it
As with all Mayra Santos-Febres books, this is beautiful written. Lush language, detailed settings, three-dimensional characters. But like many other readers I found the jumps between time and father and sons confusing. And some of the chapter openings with religious-laced thoughts of the women were, while poetic, confusing and pulled me out of the tale. Ultimately, though, it is a wonderful portrait of Isabel "La Negra" Luberza and a glimpse into a time in Puerto Rican history not often ...more
Althea Ann
DNF pg. 77.
No rating; didn't read enough to fairly give it one.

I picked this one up because the actual person that the book is about sounded like an interesting topic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabel_l...).

However, the style of the book, very heavy on poetic language and internal monologues, and, in what I read, light on actual historic detail, just didn't grab me. It may just have been my mood at the time, but I ended up leaving my copy of the book in Puerto Rico. Hopefully someone else w
...more
Mae
Aug 23, 2011 Mae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish
Isabel la Negra, died when I was fourteen years old. She was one of Puerto Rico's most infamous character. She was powerful, she was very rich and she was a Madama like very few others. Isabel was black, single and an orphan. I remember her funeral, it was in all the news, but I never understood the turmoil. Her murder, went unsolved, her funeral was on every channel on every newspaper. Surprisingly, that is all I knew about Isabel la Negra. (Isabel the black.) "Good people" despised her-- "era ...more
Dahlma
Dec 15, 2009 Dahlma rated it really liked it
I read this novel in English and am reserving my final rating until I do so in Spanish because I think that it loses a lot in translation. That said, I was impressed by the richness of detail and multi-faceted complexity of its themes. I was taken in by the world that the author creates and the characters who inhabit it. I love the many threads that she weaves to create this world--the role of religion in shaping women's lives, the building political unrest, the plotting by the ruling class, the ...more
Dahlma
Mar 28, 2010 Dahlma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this novel in English and am reserving my final rating until I do so in Spanish because I think that it loses a lot in translation. That said, I was impressed by the richness of detail and multi-faceted complexity of its themes. I was taken in by the world that the author creates and the characters who inhabit it. I love the many threads that she weaves to create this world--the role of religion in shaping women's lives, the building political unrest, the plotting by the ruling class, the ...more
Belen
Mar 28, 2010 Belen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish-fiction
Finally read this novel, in anticipation of hearing Ms. Santos-Febres speak. The novel, like its author, is intelligent, funny, sexy and surprising. Historical fiction, the story is set in the years before, during and after WWII in southern Puerto Rico. The main character is based on the life of Isabel Luberza Oppenheimer, a self-made woman who owned a brothel frequented by the cream of society. Surprisingly, the other main character is a wealthy young man who studies at a university in the US ...more
Wendy
Oct 04, 2009 Wendy rated it it was ok
Intrigued by the title and theme we choose "Our Lady of the Night" for our Sept book club read. I so wanted to enjoy this novel by Mayra Santos-Febres however it fell short of my expectations. The inspiring story of Isabel "La Negra" Luberza was thwarted by Santos-Febres style of switching stories among her sons which confuses the reader. Although the story finally came together at the end, the evolution of how the characters intertwined was confusing.
Onejcm
Oct 17, 2010 Onejcm rated it it was ok
Ok, I got pretty far in this book p279 and I just could not bring myself to finish. I may come back to the book only because I really do not like to start a book and not finish. Honestly, the biggest issue for me was the writer’s style of story telling. I really could not keep the people straight or the time period. I think that if you can following the writers style this could offer a good read. Maybe I will try again with this one later on.
Camille
Jun 07, 2014 Camille rated it liked it
OK, so I thought this would be more about this poor girl that grows up to be a madam. It wasn't. It was mostly about an attorney that sired a child with a "lady of the night" and how his legitimate son crossed paths with her. I was a little disappointed with the story line but the writing was very good. I just wish there was more information about Isabel.
Myriam
Sep 01, 2012 Myriam rated it it was amazing
This is a book that you most definetely have to read in her native spanish language!!! This book is amazing!
Karen Shanley
Oct 08, 2009 Karen Shanley rated it liked it
i liked this book, it was a pretty easy read and great for a trip that i recently took. the book didn't knock my socks off, but i enjoyed it.
Laurel J
Laurel J rated it it was ok
Aug 24, 2014
Jessica Hu
Jessica Hu rated it it was ok
Jan 14, 2014
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Mercedes rated it it was amazing
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Puerto Rican novelist, poet, and critic. Winner of the Juan Rulfo Award (1996), Santos-Febres holds an M.A. and Ph.D. (1991) from Cornell University.
She currently teaches at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.
More about Mayra Santos-Febres...

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