Kristal's Reviews > Of Love and Other Demons

Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez
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's review
Feb 26, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-reads, magical-realism, df-summer-2011, reviewed
Read from July 11 to 12, 2011

The book begins with an introduction by Márques, explaining that while on assignment for a local newspaper, he was sent to a cemetery that was being moved due to the property being sold. While there, he witnessed one of the crypts opened and out flowed 22 meters of living hair belonging to the remains of a 200 year-old girl. The discovery reminded him of a story he had heard about a young girl who had been bitten by a rabid dog but was believed to have been able to preform miracles, giving her an almost saint-like quality. This is the background for 'Of Love and Other Demons'.

Sierva María, the young marquise, lives with her mother and father but is free to do as she likes, since neither of her parents seems to take responsibility for her. She chooses to live with the slaves and acquires their customs as her own. Later, this would prove to be a downfall, as she will be declared a savage and have no moral fiber.

Although she shows no ill-effects from the dog bite, she begins to exhibit some rather bizarre behavior that soon makes itself know to the Bishop. Her father is approached by the church and is concerned for her well being. Hoping to make amends for his lack of parental guidance, her father consents to having her locked in a cell at the Convent of Santa Clara. This is where she meets Father Caventano Delaura, the protégé of the Bishop. It will be his job to declare if Sierva María is demon possessed or suffering for the effects of the rabies.

Delaura is a bookish man and prides himself on his library. He has no other worldly thoughts outside of books and the Church. But after his initial meeting with Sierva María, his thoughts begin to center on the girl. Although he is significantly older than her, he becomes infatuated with the girl and can not keep himself from her cell.

Eventually things begin to unravel for Cayetan and Sierva María. Cayetano can not hide his love for the girl and Sierva María wants to be found demon-less. Together, they cannot hide their love for each other but the odds against they are insurmountable.

This was my first time reading Márquez and I was thoroughly captivated. His ability to weave such a colorful and mesmerizing tale shows his talent as a writer. However, my one issue would be that I felt the ending was rushed. The story seemed to wrap itself up with the last two pages. I actually had to go back and reread it just to make sure it was the end. Still remained a favorite for this summer.
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02/26 marked as: read

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