Coco's Reviews > La Conquista: Una Novela

La Conquista by Yxta Maya Murray
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May 15, 2010

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This fascinating novel centers around Sara Rosario Gonzales, a restorer of rare books and manuscripts at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. When Sara is assigned to restore a 16th century manuscript about a female Aztec juggler enslaved by Cortes and sent to Europe to entertain the Pope as well as Emperor Charles V, she doesn't realize the power of the tale she's about to immerse herself into.

The juggler, we find, is determined to take revenge on the king of the empire who contributed to the slaughter of her people, and Sara is determined to prove that the book, which caused scandal when it was published, was written by the Aztec juggler herself, and not the European monk reputed to have penned it.

Entwined within Sara's fascination of the manuscript is Sara's own life; the frustration she has over her inability to commit to Karl, the man who has loved her since high school, her cultural displacement as a Latina in L.A., along with straddling the surreal world her departed mother kept alive with the pragmatic thinking of her demanding father.

This is a beautifully written novel which shows that sometimes, a sense of amnesia is the only thing that allows us to forget a painful history.

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