Makenzie's Reviews > El Pergamino de la Seducción

El Pergamino de la Seducción by Gioconda Belli
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May 30, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: 21st-century, in-spanish, latin-american, put-aside-indefinitely

I officially give up on this book, after having read more than a third of it. I really wanted to finish it, but it is irritating me more and more as I go on. It is made up of two stories: one in the present (well, sort of, in the 60s) and one dealing with Juana la Loca, queen of Spain in the 16th century. The first is decidedly creepy (I think mostly for the way it's presented, because I have certainly read much creepier things than a relationship between a 17-year-old and an older man and it hasn't put me off of the book); the second had a lot of potential, but fell kind of flat, at least in the part that I read. I think it's meant to be a sort of vindication of Juana, but the whole examining the interiority of the historical figure seemed kind of forced and the narration was plagued with stereotypes. After the umpteenth mention of evil, repressive, Catholic Spain vs. idealized, fancy-free Flanders, with Juana of course condemning anything reprehensible to a modern viewpoint, I decided this was not worth my time. Perhaps the rest of the book is more believable, but I have my doubts.
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