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Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands

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It surprises no one that the charming but wayward Vadinho dos Guimaraes–a gambler notorious for never winning—dies during Carnival. His long suffering widow Dona Flor devotes herself to her cooking school and her friends, who urge her to remarry. She is soon drawn to a kind pharmacist who is everything Vadinho was not, and is altogether happy to marry him. But after her wedding she finds herself dreaming about her first husband’s amorous attentions; and one evening Vadinho himself appears by her bed, as lusty as ever, to claim his marital rights.

553 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1966

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About the author

Jorge Amado

124 books1,292 followers
Jorge Amado de Faria was a Brazilian writer of the Modernist school. He was the best-known of modern Brazilian writers, his extensive work having been translated into some 30 languages and popularized in film, notably Dona Flor and her Two Husbands, (in Portuguese, Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos) in 1978. His work dealt largely with the poor urban black and mulatto communities of Bahia.

Jorge Leal Amado de Faria (Itabuna, 10 de agosto de 1912 — Salvador, 6 de agosto de 2001) foi um dos mais famosos e traduzidos escritores brasileiros de todos os tempos. Integrou os quadros da intelectualidade comunista brasileira desde o final da primeira metade do século XX - ideologia presente em várias obras, como a retratação dos moradores do trapiche baiano em Capitães da Areia, de 1937.

Jorge é o autor mais adaptado do cinema, do teatro e da televisão. Verdadeiros sucessos como Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos, Tenda dos Milagres, Tieta do Agreste, Gabriela, Cravo e Canela e Tereza Batista Cansada de Guerra foram criações suas. A obra literária de Jorge Amado – 49 livros, ao todo – também já foi tema de escolas de samba por todo o País. Seus livros foram traduzidos em 80 países, em 49 idiomas, bem como em braille e em fitas gravadas para cegos.

Jorge foi superado, em número de vendas, apenas por Paulo Coelho. Mas em seu estilo - o romance ficcional -, não há paralelo no Brasil. Em 1994, a sua obra foi reconhecida com o Prêmio Camões.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 496 reviews
Profile Image for Luís.
1,828 reviews480 followers
March 2, 2023
Jorge Amado has found a fun dough to mix in his expert hands with this novel. He exploits parallel universes and controversial subjects with witty, funny writing.
He tackles these subjects with mastery, playing with the history, the customs of an era, and society's beliefs in complete political and cultural effervescence.
Tolerance as an art of living, good humor as a solution to daily worries, and disregard as an escape from more serious problems are the portrait of a people and a philosophy of life unique in the world!
Furiously burlesque and comical!
Profile Image for Algernon (Darth Anyan).
1,479 reviews943 followers
August 22, 2016

The strange and moving account of the experiences of Dona Flor,
professor emeritus of the culinary art, and her two husbands,
the first known as Vadinho;
the second, Dr. Teodoro Madureira by name, pharmacist by profession
The Fearsome Battle between Spirit and Matter

Narrated by Jorge Amado,
public scrivener located in the Rio Vermelho quarter
of the city of Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos,
in the neighborhood of Largo de Sant' Ana,
where Yemanja, Our Lady of the Waters, dwells.

This will probably be my favorite read of the year 2016, an irreverent, bawdy, tumultous celebration of life and love under the tropical sun of Bahia, written with tender irony and wicked wit by Jorge Amado, to the accompaniament of guitars, violins, bassoons, cellos and the thundering batucadas of a full fledged Carnival.

Was is not by loving that I learned to love? Was it not by living that I learned to live? asks Dona Flor in the introduction to the story, while sharing with the author one of her favorite Bahian spicy recipes. Some of the lessons are extremelly painful, and the amorous tale of Dona Flor begins with the death of her first husband, Vadinho, in the morning of the last day of the Carnival. He dies the same way he lived his life : drinking and singing and making lewd gestures at passing women, accompanied by his gang of gamblers and lechers, buried in debt and missed only by his creditors and by his long suffering wife of seven years, Floripedes Paiva Madureira - Dona Flor de Guimaraes, owner of the Cooking School of Savor and Art.

A murmur of the professionally devout, of old church mice, of spiteful enemies of fun and laughter, arose with the incense in a sour sussuration:
"He wasn't worth a ha'penny's prayer, the renegade."

The wicked, forked tongues of the neighbouring busybodies wag with glee at the death of the devilish Vadinho, but Dona Flor is devastated. Why would she mourn a cheating husband who spent his nights gambling and whoring, stole the money she made from cooking lessons, flirted with her pretty students and, gasp!, even beat her up once when he was down on his luck? She is better off without him, sings the chorus of her friends, led by her shrill and envious mother, Dona Rozilda.

In a long and rambling flashback, we follow Dona Flor down memory lane, reminiscing over her seven years of secret happiness in the arms of Vadinho, who might have been everything the gossipy tongues wagged about, and even worse on occasion, but who nevertheless loved his young wife with all his wild heart (and his admirable bedroom skills). Jorge Amado makes me think of the Canterbury Tales, transplanted to a tropical land and scripted by a feverish Federico Fellini, populating the lower middle class neighborhood of Bahia with a colourful, wacky cast of characters, both imaginary and historical, and telling hundreds the juicy, scandalous, spicy anecdotes about all and sundry. It's a rambling, leisurely, subversive narrative style that might not appeal to readers who prefer clear plot and fast action, but the city of Bahia comes alive in all its splendour under the pen of Amado, full of laughter and tears, music and scented breezes, good food and wild parties, gambling and illicit love affairs. Vadinho is revealed as the king of the revelries. Even the parish friar, Dom Clemente Nigra, is forced to admire his atitude:

Vadinho was so gay, he loved to laugh. Whenever I saw him, I realized that the greatest sin is sadness, the only one that is an offense to life.

Dona Flor is still too young though to live only for tears and memories of Vadinho. Her one year of mourning weighs heavily on her shoulders, and the iron bed where she once knew extasy under the caresses of her husband soon becomes an instrument of torture. She needs a man in her life, and all her friends conspire to find the right one for her. After a couple of hilarious missteps, the choice falls on Dr. Teodoro, the local pharmacist. He is everything Vadinho wasn't : serious, careful with money, reliable and, most importantly, really enamoured of the plump and hot blooded Dona Flor. His conventional and slighlty staid courting produces the desired results and Dona Flor will soon put the iron bed to more pleasant use, Sundays and Wednesdays, like clockwork.

Enveloped by the transparency of the air that morning, so beautiful in its light and so made to the measure of man that it was a privilege to live it, Dona Flor, raising her eyes from the ground, looked about to take in the sight of the street and the color of the day.

Unfortunately, Dr Teodoro in his careful and respectful kisses doesn't hold a candle to the despicable Vadinho, so well versed in all the pages of the Kama Sutra. All the elevated social position and the respect of the neighborhood, the musical soirees in the best mansions of Bahia and the financial stability get boring after awhile. Dr Teodoro is the perfect husband, but what woman really wants perfection when she can have danger and adventure?

Why, Dona Flor would not take it amiss if something were to happen, something unforessen to break the monotony of those days all equally happy and all equally placid. "It is positively a sin, sister, to talk like this when I am blessed with this life I lead, after having eaten such bitter bread; but the same thing every day gets cloying, even when it is of the finest. Just between us, my dear, there are times when this blissful life, which everyone envies me, causes me such torment, absolutely idiotic, which I can't even explain.

For all the comedy and the laughter and the music, Jorge Amado doesn't forget that he started his career as a leftist writer deeply engaged in social issues, and makes Dona Flor more that a pretty ornament to her husband or an object of lewd dreams. She strikes a hard blow for all women forced to live in a male dominated society, raising an early voice for emancipation in this 1940's fairytale of Bahia:

"And why don't I have the right to contribute to buying us a house? Or don't you consider me your helpmate in everything? Am I only good to clean up, look after your clothes, cook your meals, and go to bed with you?" Dona Flor was in a temper. "Just a servant and a strumpet."

Her newly reawaken restlessness is heard by the hidden deities of Bahia, the African Pantheon brought across the Atlantic ocean by the former slaves, and the patron of Vadinho intervenes to give Dona Flor the peace of mind she craves

The last part of the novel is like the annual Carnival in Brasil: raucous, loud, bawdy, irrepressible. Magic is in the air, everything is possible, love rules over the world, and Dona Flor has no choice but to succumb again to the charm of Vadinho, the consummate seducer. Can she be both the faithful wife of the serious doctor and the secret mistress of a ghost? Only in Bahia something like this is possible:

All this took place; let him who will believe. It took place in Bahia, where these and other acts of magic occur without startling anybody. If anyone has his doubts, let his ask Cardoso e Sa., and he will tell him whether or not it is the truth. He can be found on the planet Mars or on any poor corner of the city.


I read last year a novella by Amado that uses a similar style, full of humour, music and human kindness ("The Discovery of America by the Turks"). With "Dona Flor" he exceeded my expectations and wrote a magical novel to rival the Latin American stories written by Marques and de Bernieres. I feel now like one of the hundreds of small characters in the book that made Bahia such a vivid and memorable city to visit:

When he arrived from Munich, this Finerkaes was fairly restrained in his judgements. But the tropics conquered him completely: he lost his moderation and never regained his winter cool.

I have no moderation left in me and I gladly give all the stars in my pocket to this story.


tentative soundtrack listing :

- anything by Dorival Caymmi , a personal friend of the author and one of characters in the novel that sings a serenade with Vadinho under the balcony of Dona Flor
- Beth Carvalho - "Hora de Chorar"
- Caetano Veloso - "Cavaleiro"
- Cartola - "A Mesma Historia"
- Elis Regina - "Dois Pra La, Dois Pra Ca"
- Joao Gilberto - "Bim Bom"
- Gilberto Gil - "Chiclete com Banana"
- Maria Creuza - "Onde Anda Voce"
- Maria Creuza - "Otra Vez Bahia"
- Martinho da Villa - "Pelo Telefone"
- Nara Leao - "A Banda"
- Rolando Boldrin - "Vaca Estrella E Boi Fuba"
- Tom Jobim - "Insensatez"
- Baden Powell - "Consolacao"
- Marisa Montes - "Danca da Solidao"
Profile Image for Sonia Gomes.
308 reviews95 followers
October 20, 2020
Jorge Amado happens to be one of my favourite authors, but I do have a confession to make, I have such a deep affection for Latin American authors, Spanish as well as Portuguese. Amado is humorous in a ribald sort of way but what is most important about him, is that he is completely non judgemental.

I read “Dona Flor e seus dois Maridos" as an English translation and found it beautiful. The original Portuguese, however, is pretty much different, it deals with many more aspects of Brazilian Culture that the English translation does not, but both are very good.

Coming back to the essence of the book, we all have two sides to our selves, and Dona Flor is no exception.
As a young girl she marries Vadinho, the love of her life. Vadinho proves to be a wastrel, a bom vivão, who loves to gamble, whores around. For him the most important event is Carnaval, and then, much as Vadinho would have desired, he just drops down dead in the midst of the Carnaval festivities.
Dona Flor is relieved, Dona Rozilda ecstatic - although everyone hated Dona Rozilda, Dona Flor’s mother, I loved her venomous tongue; her 'Brazilian Insults' had me in splits.
Slowly and steadely, Dona Flor builds her business; she cooks and gives cooking lessons.
Amado just loves Bahia, its food and most important the azeite-de-dendê.
Time moves on, Dona Flor is very secure financially, but something is missing, her students notice that she is not as 'alegre' as she used to be earlier.
What could be missing in her life, money? That she has.
Respect? No chance everyone respects the pretty young widow.
Just when she cannot bear this inner turmoil any longer she realises that the missing ingredient in her life is….Sex.
Oh! how she misses her sexual dalliances with Vadinho. She now realises that those happy, fulfilling romps in bed are a thing of the past. Then her despair turns to joy, when the very staid and correct Teodoro proposes marriage to her. It is a meeting of minds and souls. Teodoro is a man with his own business, a cultured gentleman who loves classical music, has his own quartet.
Could Dona Flor ask for more? Of course not, Teodoro is every woman’s dream; strong, reliable, dependable, any woman could entrust her future and her life in Teodoro’s capable hands, a far cry from Vadinho. Or is he?
Teodoro is a man of extremely regular habits; everything has its time and place and that includes sex. How can you have sex at prescribed, regular times sighs Dona Flor. Sex so regular and predictable that Dona Flor wants to scream and tear her hair in despair.
Vadinho, O meu Vadinho, how she yearns for the much maligned Vadinho.
We feel the turmoil in Dona Flor’s life. Here is Teodoro who loves her, treats her with respect, never deprives her of her hard earned money on the other hand we have Vadinho who only has his sexual expertise.
How Dona Flor pines for Vadinho, her body cries out to him and in that yearning Goddess Yemanja comes to her aid. Yemanja with her magical powers ‘brings back Vadinho” and well…..you can only imagine how happy Dona Flor is, the romps are back and they are just as good as before Vadinho died.
The book has many facets to it; the central one of course being Dona Flor’s physical needs, her sexual cravings. Ironically both Vadinho and Teodoro save her from depravity. We could take a look at our darker inner selves, if of course we would be willing to admit to having one!

Jorge Amado, also shows us what it is to be a gambler, the hunger, the despair, the win are interwoven in this book, incidentally it is not pleasant to win all of the time, it takes away the edge of the game.
Amazing how this book leads us into so very many unexplored avenues, forcing us to think without prejudice.
Vadinho sums the book when he as a ghost says,
'Tambem do meu amor precisas para ser feliz, desse amor de impurezas, errado e torto, devasso ardente, que faz sofrer'
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,865 reviews1,898 followers
January 21, 2012
Rating: five enchanted stars of five

So, as I've explained on my profile over at LibraryThing, I've been in a book circle in RL for 17 years, and I posted our group reading list with my one-line assessments of the books. Most of those books I read long long long before I knew about LT or GoodReads, and so I've either never reviewed them or reviewed them for the long-vanished book blog.

Whatthehell, I figured, I should go back and glance over the list, maybe write some reviews of those oldsters.

So that's what I'm a-gonna do.

BkC1) DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS by Jorge Amado: Adored it! Ghosts get horny, too, and why not?

I stand by the one-liner. It's a wonderful book, so it deserves a real appreciation.

The Book Report: Flor and Vadinho are as happy as two opposites can be in a marriage. Their relationship doesn't make sense to any of Flor's stuffy, social-climbing family (really, whose relationship makes sense to the family?), as Vadinho spends and cheats and generally makes a spectacle of himself in dreary 1940s Bahia (provincial Brazilian city, think Baltimore or Philadelphia). Especially the day he drops dead in a Carnival street dance.

Flor grieves for him, but life goes on, and the aforementioned stuffy family won't tolerate a single woman in her prime to be left in peace. So Flor marries Babbitt. Oh dear, I mean Teodoro (which is Brazilian for Babbitt). He's not a lot of fun, but he's thoughtful, and gentle, and considerate of her feelings, and a BIG FAT BORE especially in bed. Flor settles in for a life of having settled. So many people of both genders and all persuasions can relate to this.

Then...then...Vadinho's horny ghost shows up! Moral crisis: Is it cheating on your husband to sleep with your dead husband? Is this a serious question? To Flor it is, and to be frank, I was so bought in at that point that I took it seriously too.

My Review: Written in 1966, this novel felt as fresh as yesterday to me when I read it in the 1990s. It is subtle and grotesque and sly and, in the end, it's the way a real person is: Conflicted. Is the story in Flor's mind, a desperately bored woman's attempt to recapture some small sense of joy in life, or is Vadinho real?

I don't exactly know, even yet. But you know what? Don't matter one little speck. I believe Flor. She woould never lie to me.

Amado was that good. Recommended, ESPECIALLY for married people of all persuasions.
Profile Image for Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly.
755 reviews331 followers
November 6, 2010
How many stories can you tell in thirteen pages? Jorge Amado (can we be friends? May I call you Jorge?) put five stories in thirteen pages, four of them untold. But even it these four stories were untold, the reader would know what these stories were. It is a demonstration of how to tell a story by not telling it.
The main story is that about Maria Batista, or "Maria of the Veil," narrated by Porciuncula, a mulatto. And despite the limited space, with the words crowding each other in thirteen pages, Maria of the Veil comes alive before your eyes, dies, and breaks your heart. Now, I have to stop here because it would be a shame if my review of Jorge's short story, "How Porciuncula the Mulatto Got the Corpse Off His Back" would be longer than the story itself. I read it because I wanted to know how this author sounds when he's not writing funny. For this above-discussed virtuosity, I'm giving him four stars.

For "Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands" (1966), the laughter and entertainment I got here were the same as that I had in his much earlier work, "Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" (1958). This is something. Authors usually do not have encores. Especially like here where "Gabriela" and "Dona Flor" have the same comic theme and rural setting. It's like an in-your-face repetition of a magic trick yet you get the same amazement you had when you saw it for the first time.

Both were love stories. In "Gabriela" we have that between a cook (the mulatto girl Gabriela) and her unmarried employer ("a beautiful man!"). Here, it is a love triangle: Vadinho, a rascal and a gambler who is good at nothing except in bed where he is unforgettable; Dona Flor, Vadinho's wife, a beauty and an excellent cook (like Gabriela) who becomes a young widow when Vadinho suddenly drops dead in a carnival while wearing a costume and a fake penis; and Dr. Teodoro, a pharmacist, well-educated, very caring and respectful even in bed (Wednesdays and Saturdays only, with a repeat performance every Saturday). It was a love triangle because Vadinho, Dona Flor's first love, came back from the dead, a ghost seen only by Dona Flor.

My favorite scene here, where I felt Jorge's romanticism at its height, is the first honeymoon night of Dona Flor and her second husband Dr. Teodoro. It runs for about nine pages, too long to reproduce here, but when it ended with--

"This was the night in Paripe, with stars and the riding lights of the fishing skiffs."

I wrote in the available margin underneath: "Bravo!" Such was the beauty of Jorge's prose here, but only appropriate for romantics like me. For you, hapless readers of this review, you with your lascivious minds, I have a better sampler, one that can satisfy your predilections for naughtiness and likewise display Jorge's comic genius. This one also involves a repeat, a recurring character, not exactly the same, but can be described both in "Gabriela" and "Dona Flor" as: the enchanting temptress at the window.

In "Dona Flor" her name is Dona Magnolia, girlfriend of a policeman, but she loves all sorts of men. One day, she casts her eyes upon the prim and proper Dr. Teodoro, Dona Flor's faithful husband, and decides to test her charms on him. Here goes the inimitable Jorge!--

"Four times a day, at least, as he came and went from his house to the drugstore and vice versa, the 'splendid forty-year-old' (according to Dona Dinora's crystal ball) passed beneath her window, where, in a low-cut robe, Dona Magnolia rested her insolent breasts, as big and round as they were enticing. The students of the Ipiranga Prep School, located on the next street, took to changing their itineraries, unanimously parading in military formation under the window on which rested those breasts that could have suckled them all. Dona Magnolia was touched: so sweet in their school uniforms, the smaller standing on tiptoe for the joy of seeing, the dream of touching. 'Let them suffer so they will learn,' Dona Magnolia reasoned pedagogically, shifting to exhibit still better breasts and bust (unfortunately the window frame somewhat limited the rest of her display).

"The schoolboys suffered, the workmen of the vicinity groaned, delivery clerks, young men like Roque, who framed pictures, old men like Alfredo, occupied with his saints. People came from far off, from Se, from Jiquitaia, from Itapagipe, from Tororo, from Matatu, making a pilgrimage just to see those celebrated wonders. A beggar, at three in the afternoon, sharp, under the hot sun crossed the street: 'Alms for a poor man blind in both eyes.'

"The best alms was the divine sight in the window: even running the danger of being unmasked, snatching off his black glasses, he opened his eyes wide, feasting the two at the same time, staring at those gifts of God, the property of the police. Even if the secret agent should pursue him and throw him into jail on charges of imposture, panhandling, even so he would feel it had been worth while.

"Only Dr. Teodoro, cravatted, his white suit stiffly starched, did not raise his eyes to the heaven exposed to view in the window. Bowing his head, in a greeting that indicated his good breeding, he raised his hat, to say 'Good morning' and 'Good afternoon,' indifferent to the outburst of breasts which Dona Magnolia had surrounded by lace to heighten the effect, which should have rocked that man of marble back on his heels, undoing that insulting conjugal fidelity. Only he, that big dark brute, that handsome dog, undoubtedly with a tool like a table leg, only he went by without showing any sign of impression, delight, ecstasy, without seeing, without even looking at that sea of breasts. Ah, that was too much, an insulting offense, an unbearable challenge.

"Monogamous, Dona Dinora had affirmed, conversant with all the details of the doctor's life. He was not a person to be unfaithful to his wife; he had not even been so with Tavinha Manemolencia, a prostitute, though restricted as to her clientele. Dona Magnolia had confidence in her charms: 'My dear fortuneteller, take note, write down what I am saying: there is no such thing as a monogamous man, we know that, you and I. Look into your crystal ball, and if it is to be trusted, it will reveal to you the doctor in a brothel bed--that of Sobrinha, to be exact--with your humble servant, Magnolia Fatima das Neves, at her best, beside him.

"So the doctor was not moved by the swooning eyes of his neighbor, by her seductive voice answering her greeting, with her breasts resting on the windowsill, and the desire of the young men growing by day and by night, the drooling of the old men? Dona Magnolia had other arms which she could use, and she was taking the offensive at once.

"Thus one sultry afternoon, when the air was heavy with desire, inviting to the delights of bed and lullabies, Dona Magnolia entered the swinging doors of the pharmacy, carrying in her hand a box of injections to be used as a new temptation of St. Anthony. In a thin summer dress she went lavishing her riches prodigally.

"'Doctor, could you give me an injection?'

"Dr. Teodoro was measuring nitrates in his laboratory, his starched white coat making him look even taller and giving him a kind of scientific dignity. With a smile she held out the box of injections. Taking it, he put it on the table and said: 'Just a minute.'

"Dona Magnolia stood there, sizing him up, more pleased every minute. What a man, of good age, strong, brave. She sighed and he, leaving his powders and prescription, raised his eyes to her: 'You have a pain?'

"'Ah, Mr. Doctor,' and she smiled as though to say that her pain was killing her and he was the cause of it.

"'An injection?' He examined the bottle, 'A vitamin compound...to keep your balance...these new medicines. What balance, madame?' and he smiled politely as though he considered those treatments a waste of time and money.

"'It's my nerves, doctor. I am so sensitive, you have no idea.'

"He picked up a needle with a pair of tweezers, lifting it out of the sterilizer, while he drew the liquid into the syringe, calmly and without haste, one thing at a time, and everything in its place. A motto which hung over his worktable summed up his principles: 'A place for everything and everything in its place.' Dona Magnolia read it; she knew about a thing and the place for it, and she eyed the doctor maliciously. How sure he was of himself, that big shot!

"He dipped a wad of cotton into alcohol, and raised the syringe: 'Please roll up your sleeve.'

"In a voice both coy and malicious, Dona Magnolia answered: 'Not in the arm, doctor, not in the arm.'

"He pulled the curtain across. She raised her skirt, displaying before the doctor's eyes riches even larger and more tempting than those exhibited every day at the window. What a backside, like that of a flying ant!

"She did not even feel the prick of the needle, Dr. Teodoro had such a light and steady hand. The alcohol-soaked cotton the doctor rubbed her skin with gave her a pleasant sensation. A drop of alcohol ran down her thigh, and she sighed again.

"Once more Dr. Teodoro mistook the meaning of that gentle moan. 'Where does it hurt you?'

"Still holding up the hem of her dress showing haunches nobody had ever been able to resist before, Dona Magnolia looked the distinguished personage straight in the eye: 'Is it possible that you don't understand, that you don't understand anything?'

"He really didn't. 'Understand what?'"

Now, get hold of this book and find out for yourself what happens next.
Profile Image for Arwen56.
1,218 reviews264 followers
March 15, 2015
Un romanzo splendido, che mette voglia di esserci, di fare l'amore, di pensare che la vita sia davvero meravigliosa. Non lo è, naturalmente. La vita, intendo. Ma, dopo averlo letto, per un po' lo pensi. Scrittura ricca, esuberante, avvolgente, come la natura e la cucina di Bahia. E Vadinho lo odi e lo ami. E Flor la compatisci e la invidi. E Teodoro lo prendi in giro e lo rispetti. E, alla fine, dici grazie ad Amado per averti regalato dei bei momenti: una buona storia scritta benissimo, un ottimismo immotivato ma che ti fa stare bene comunque, quel rimpianto che è così dolce quando si chiude un libro che hai apprezzato.
Profile Image for Harry Rutherford.
376 reviews75 followers
November 23, 2009
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands is a novel about a cooking teacher whose first husband is a charming lowlife, who is always disappearing in search of wine, women, song and roulette, and her second marriage to an upright, responsible, devoted pharmacist who, for all his good qualities, is duller and more reserved. Especially in bed.

Having read the long and mildly tedious Island Boy, I picked it up in the hope it would be a bit more fun. It’s fiction, it’s Brazilian, all the blurbs on the cover go on about it being exotic, sexy, tropical, the work of a great story-teller… all the kind of joyous clichés you’d hope for from the country that gave us Elza Soares, Ronaldinho and the caipirinha. I don’t only want to read books reinforce national stereotypes, but in a wet London November, a bit of Brazil seems quite tempting.

And more importantly, it was recommended by a friend. So after some of the deeply obscure, hit and miss books I’ve read for the Read The World challenge, I was hoping for something juicy and enjoyable. Something that was not likely to feel like a chore.

Sadly it didn’t quite hit the spot. Not because it doesn’t have all those Brazilian clichés: it starts with a character dying unexpectedly during carnival while dancing in full drag, and the whole book is full of gamblers and whores and serenades, and sex and food, and humour and social satire, and a bundle of other things besides. Just reading my own description of it almost makes me want to read it again; but the actual experience of reading it wasn’t so great.

Not that it’s a bad book, but it didn’t ever quite grab me; and after 550 pages, any book that you’re not actively enjoying is going to seem like a bit of a chore. I’d be hard pressed to identify any very glaring problems with it. The characters seemed a trifle two-dimensional — particularly the two contrasting husbands, who might as well be called Id and Superego, or Apollonian and Dionysian — and the plot is perhaps stretched a bit thin; but it might just as well be that I wasn’t in the right mood for it and tried to read too much of it when I was half asleep. So while I’m not about to give it a glowing endorsement, I wouldn’t want to be too negative, either. Pathetically non-commital, I know.
Profile Image for Sara Jesus.
1,111 reviews104 followers
July 3, 2022
Que delicia de livro! Dos livros mais engraçados que li. Quando iniciei esta leitura não tinha conhecimento da história, pensei que o tema central o romance seria o adultério. Mas afinal Dona Flor não traiu ninguém, apenas é levada pelas confusões do seu marido Vadinho.

"Dona Flor e seus dois maridos" segue a mesma fase narrativa de Gabriela e Tieta, ambos enquadram-se no realismo mágico e possuem cenas de erotismo, mas neste romance o humor é mais acentuado e a comédia desempenha um papel importante na narrativa. É uma obra que revela as duas faces do amor. O amor-paixão presente na figura de Vadinho, que apesar de muitos desgostos ter provocado á Flor também lhe ensinou o prazer. E o amor casto-singelo, que confere conforto e segurança, presente em Teodoro que apesar de mostrar-se timido aos poucos vai ocupando um espaço no coração de Dona Flor pelas suas palavras delicadas e seus gestos de carinho.

Dona Flor, mulher honesta e respeitada pela comunidade da Bahia, é uma afamada professora de culinária e esposa do Doutor Teodoro. Vive os seus dias satisfeita com a sua vida composta pelas conferencias farmacêuticas e as noites de música, tentando esquecer o seu primeiro marido mulherengo e jogador. Mas um dia ele regressa do além, e decide provocá-la até ela de novo cair nos seus encantos.
Profile Image for Victoria Olivo.
71 reviews4 followers
February 7, 2017
This book. Wow where to begin. It took me a couple minutes to realize how amazing this was. At first when it ended I was a little unsure if I liked it but as it started sink in I realized it has to be one of the finest book I have ever read. This enlighten me in the interworking minds of many people I know I feel refreshed and enlighten and ready to continue in my life with a new improved perspective.
Profile Image for Alla Komarova.
203 reviews192 followers
April 23, 2020
700+ сторінок, які розказують про важливість:
- сексуального виховання,
- відвертості,
- чіткої артикуляції та обговорення власних почуттів та фізичних потреб із близькою людиною.
А також про те, що кожне, навіть невеличке селище, яке хоче, аби у ньому жили щасливі, здорові та веселі люди, обов'язково має десь поставити кіоск інтим-шопу

Ну добре, пожартували та й годі. Насправді, це ще один закритий мій давній гештальт, з якого нарешті не дме.

Книжка-бразильський карнавал, який завжди із тобою. Яскравий, повнокровний, і аж занадто перенасичений героями, які не припиняють ритмічні рухи сторінками туди-сюди. Кохаються, сваряться, миряться, співають, грають у рулетку, знов кохаються, знов сваряться, обмінюються рецептами обідніх страв та заклинань для місцевих божків та підбожків. Книжка, у якій просто живеш.

Якби сцену із тим, як Флор згадує пестощі свого чоловіка у перемішку із надиктовкою кулінарного рецепту, написав не Жоржі Амаду фігзна вже коли, а який-небудь сучасний український письменник, то його б обов'язково включили у номінацію на "Золотий хрін". Шкода, що вже явно не вийде провернути таку собі підступну провокацію адже цей роман хріно-жюрі явно читало й не раз, і навіть якщо знайдеться достатньо авантюрний автор, який би зголосився копіпейстнути у свій роман цю сцену, його б викрили і досить швидко.

Окрема палка подяка Видавництво Старого Лева за якість книги. На мене підозріло косились у транспорті, коли я її щоразу нюхала на кожному розвороті і гладила. Це справжня норкоманія, знаю, але не могла зупинитися
Profile Image for Dvd (#).
440 reviews65 followers
February 27, 2022
18/08/2019 (*****)
Sono partito a leggere questo corposo romanzo con una certa lentezza e una non particolare predisposizione: comprato in luogo di un'offerta estiva (estate 2017, credo) della Garzanti che, al costo di un libro, te ne dava due (l'altro, il motivo sostanziale dell'acquisto, era stato il soporifero Microcosmi di Magris).
Rimasto sul fondo di un cassetto, ancora nel suo cellophane, per tutto questo tempo, e preso in mano quest'estate per smaltire un pò di quelle giacenze che ogni buon bibliofilo possiede, disperse per tutta la casa e indefinibili per quantità.
Quindi l'approccio è stato senza grosse pretese e senza particolare entusiasmo. Le prime pagine - che non mi hanno molto colpito - hanno acuito tali predisposizioni, così come il fatto che di Amado, se non la fama, nient'altro conoscevo.
Il problema, che può frenare molti lettori anche migliori del sottoscritto, risiede nel fatto che le pagine sono molto dense, e denso è il racconto. Tipicamente sudamericano in questo, Amado assomiglia moltissimo a Garcia Marquez, sia per stile che per trame, e la sua prosa - come quella del colombiano - fluisce in maniera sonnolente ma assolutamente imponente, per quantità di dettagli, personaggi e intrecci: il paragone con quei grandi fiumi del continente sudamericano è, a mio parere, quanto mai calzante. E come quelle, queste grandi masse di parole e fatti rischiano di travolgere il lettore, di farlo annegare.

Poi succede che i meravigliosi personaggi, il sorprendente intreccio, l'alternarsi sottile fra reale e irreale, l'ironia ovunque presente ti prendano lentamente, ti si avviluppino intorno e finisci per trovarti immerso mani e piedi nella trama. Così con Garcia Marquez, così con Amado. Forse anche di più.

Il romanzo è veramente un capolavoro, credo senza se e senza ma. La storia, coinvolgente e commovente, di Flor e dei suoi due mariti, è bellissima, così come meravigliosi sono i personaggi tratteggiati dall'autore, che coralmente danno forma alle vicissitudini del romanzo. Tutti i personaggi, sia quelli positivi che quelli negativi (che alla fin fine sono assai pochi, dato che nelle loro miserie tutti - o quasi - mostrano un loro peculiare lato umano), a cominciare dalla stupenda Flor, vera e assoluta protagonista del libro, e anche dai suoi due mariti, uno l'opposto dell'altro e che tuttavia sono necessari, insieme, per dare a lei la completa felicità: il primo, lo spiantato Vadinho, accanito giocatore d'azzardo, puttaniere, nottambulo, che vive la vita alla giornata con grande generosità e senza calcoli; il secondo, il dottor Teodoro, benestante farmacista, musicista, uomo onesto, buono e pacato.
Entrambi, ognuno a modo loro, innamorati persi di Flor. Quando il primo marito, Vadinho, muore improvvisamente collassando durante il carnevale, nell'ultimo dei suoi baccanali, lascia la povera Flor disperata vedova, nonostante gli infiniti tradimenti, i debiti, la precarietà della vita insieme; servirà un anno per riprendersi, sorretta dalla grande e generosa umanità del vicinato (ah, come pare lontana quella società al giorno d'oggi), per convolare nuovamente a nozze con il modesto gentile e onesto dottor Teodoro, che le porterà in dote, oltre a una vita felice e tranquilla, anche la sicurezza di una condizione economica e sociale salda e un amore assoluto.
Il dottore, uomo metodico e probo, è l'opposto del suo predecessore, e pur garantendosi l'affetto incondizionato di Flor non riesce ad accenderne la passione (come invece riusciva a fare l'altro), compresso com'è, dal carattere e dalla naturale predisposizione, nella sua altolocata posizione sociale e nella ricercata monotonia: così, nella quinta e ultima parte del libro, improvvisamente il morto ricompare, richiamato dalla sua vedova. Il ritmo del libro aumenta, i capitoli si fanno rapidi, le situazioni si fanno serrate: l'estinto corteggia sua moglie e contemporaneamente favorisce vincite colossali ai suoi vecchi e splendidi compagni di sbronze, facendo sbancare il maggior casinò della città; molti si accorgono dell'inquietante e farsesca presenza, ma solo Flor può vederlo.
Alla fine, Flor sceglie l'unica strada possibile, l'unica che può darle la completa felicità e la pace. Meritata.

Ribadisco, romanzo strepitoso, consiglia a chi lo affronterà di tenere duro all'inizio perché ne varrà la pena, e i suoi personaggi resteranno nel cuore e nella mente a lungo. Flor, in particolare: uno dei più belli e completi ritratti di donna a tutto tondo mai scritti.

Un appunto sulla traduzione: mi pareva vetusta e vecchiotta, ma arrivato alla fine mi accorgo che l'insistenza su una terminologia desueta, popolarescamente arcaica ha contribuito in maniera determinante a farmi immergere compiutamente nella Bahia degli anni Sessanta, oltre a amplificare il grasso humor popolare di Amado, con mio sommo diletto.
Profile Image for Stella Popa.
244 reviews69 followers
October 4, 2021
„Dona Flor și cei doi soți ai ei”
Jorge Amado 4,5/5

Doamnelor și domnilor, triunghiul amoros perfect există, în versiunea scrisă de autorul Jorge Amado, brazilianul cu un simț al umorului perfect, fără exagerări sau snobisme.

I-am dat 9 pentru că m-a ținut de-a lungul celor 544 de pagini într-o continuă stare de bine și plăcere vizuală bine determinată. Pe lângă cărțile bune și care merită a fi citite, își face loc și cea a domnului Amado, cu povestea unui cuplu alcătuit din 3 oameni, mai puțin sau mai mult obișnuiți, dar funcțional. Încă din primele pagini asistăm la un stil captivant, deoarece nu prea găsești autori care să te prindă fără multă curtare din primele cuvinte, și nu cu orice „adeziv” banal, ci cu câteva cutume de la înmormântarea preaiubitului soț al donei Flor, Vadinho, ce mâncare sau băutură trebuie să fie prezentă pe masă, cum și cine face cafeaua, cât de tristă și de scârbită este necesar a fi văduva.

Pentru ca un priveghi sa-l cinstească așa cum se cuvine pe cel mort, făcându-i astfel mai ușoară prima noapte a morții sale, care este cea mai zbuciumată, trebuie să fie plănuit cu mare grijă, cu toată atenția cuvenită atât mortului, cât și poftei de mâncare. Când ar trebui servite gustările?

Toata noaptea, de la început pana la sfârșit. Cafeaua trebuie servită tot timpul, și aici vorbim de cafea simplă – cafezinho – să fie clar. Un mic dejun în toată regula, cu cafea cu lapte, pâine, unt, brânză, biscuiți, prăjituri de manioc, cuscus cu ouă ochiuri, este servit doar spre dimineață și doar acelora care au rămas să vegheze până la ziuă.

Dona Flor s-a măritat cu primul ei soț, fiind fermecată de personalitatea lui debordantă, un „petit” psihopat, un parazit dulce care a știut să trăiască doar pe spinarea soției, să o înșele, să o îndulcească mereu când acesta avea nevoie de bani, să mintă fără nerușinare, să-ți petreacă nopțile oriunde, doar acasă nu, să facă dragoste cu soția lui numai când simțea că aceasta cedează din cauza nervilor și a geloziei, acesta să moară în timpul carnavalului din cauza băuturii și a organismului istovit de petreceri.

După un șir de dezamăgiri, oameni toxici și amintiri dureroase despre fosta căsătorie, dona Flor prinde aripi, zâmbet și îi sclipesc ochii chiar dacă, oficial, încă se mai află în perioada de doliu. Iar această nouă atitudine o aduce la căsătoria numărul 2, unde în peisaj apare antipodul primului soț. Teodoro este un farmacist înstărit, inteligent, fidel și corect, calități care o fac să-l îndrăgească de bărbatul cumpătat și atent. Însă ceva nu-i ajunge sau cineva...

Romanul este o atmosferă perfectă a tot ceea ce înseamnă: societate bolnavă de prejudecăți, dragoste nesăbuită, petreceri care degenerează în cele mai depravate finaluri cu iz de urgie hippy. Mi-au plăcut toate personajele lui Amado, gustoase în felul său, nevastă disperată, un soț teribil dar plin de șarm, altul cuminte și caraghios, o mamă ipocrită, vecine cu nasul de mărimea lui Pinocchio, prieteni și camarazi de pahar care sunt vii și colorați, or în momentele lor de glorie și luare de cuvânt, aceștia strălucesc, și atunci nu mai contează corectitudinea a ceea ce auzi, ci doar acel sentiment de destindere anarhistă, doar plăcere și atât, chiar și mergând la braț cu soția ta în fundul gol (citind cartea o să găsiți sensul :D).

‘Nici măcar Yansa, cea care alungă sufletele, care nu se teme de spirite și de insulte, care poruncește celor morți, războinică al cărei strigat face să putrezească fructele și distruge armate întregi, nici măcar ea nu a reușit să-și impună îndrăzneala și autoritatea; vrăjitorul lui Exu îi luase coasa și împletitura din fire de păr din coada unui cal. Totul se răsturnase, lumea era pe dos, prânzul la miezul nopții, soarele pe cer înainte de a apărea zorii.’

Nu m-am identificat cu nici unul din personaje, deși tind să fac această greșeală, care, câteodată, te împiedică să apreciezi corect lectura, așa că aici am fost un martor ocular, luând notițe despre stări, apreciind un subiect proaspăt, chiar dacă stă prin librării de prin 1966. O veți recunoaște pe dona Flor în cineva din prietenele voastre și o veți înțelege, caracterul ei și personalitatea, am îndrăgit-o iremediabil, autorul s-a străduit să fie înțeles orice detaliu al acestui roman, atât de pedant a fost.

Cultura braziliană este bine impregnată în pagini, însă tinzi să o compari cu a noastră, și fără să depun un efort mare, eu îmi dau seama cât de mult semănăm în gândire și acțiuni. Până la urmă nimic nu se schimbă, doar mașinile evoluează.
#Librarius #JorgeAmado #donaFlorsiceidoisotiaiei #autorbrazilian #romandedragoste #romanamuzant #romantriunghiamoros #literaturacontemporana
Profile Image for Simona.
940 reviews207 followers
July 20, 2015
Se ci fosse un aggettivo per descrivere questo libro, direi vitale. La vitalità è il leit - motiv intorno al quale ruota tutta la vicenda che Amado racconta.
La vitalità, di cui parlavo poc'anzi, si incarna nei vari personaggi, a cominciare da Dona Flor, passionale, temeraria, vitale, appunto, a Vadinho, che trascina Dona Flor nel suo mondo dedito alle donne, all'alcool, al gioco, nel suo mondo di passioni e di sensualità, fino a Teodoro, il secondo marito di Dona Flor subito dopo la vedovanza, che è l'antitesi di Vadinho, molto pacato e tranquillo, ma anche della tipica anima brasiliana.
Non è solo un tributo alla terra brasiliana, alla sua anima carioca, festosa e vitale, ma anche alla passionalità, alla vitalità, alla sensualità che caratterizza quei luoghi e alle sue mille sfaccettature, ai volti dei vari personaggi che fanno da corollario a questo romanzo.
Profile Image for Phrodrick.
870 reviews38 followers
July 13, 2019
There is an old joke about a couple celebration their 50th anniversary.
After a wonderful party filled with close friends, family, fine wines and food, they see the last of their guests leave. Then she punches him in the arm.
Him: “What was that for?”
Her: “50 years of bad sex!”
He considers this for a moment and hits her in the arm.
Her: “What was that for?”
Him: “For knowing the difference!”

Any number of cases may be made that Jorge Amado’s Dona Flor and her Two Husbands is a much better book than a 3 star ratting implies. There is a lot of good things here. Altogether too much and too often repeated. I do not know what the expression is that makes a sensible version of ‘over egging the paella’, but that that is my conclusion having fought may way through all 550 pages. Jorge Amado’s Dona Flor and her Two Husbands is a very good book buried in a lot of too much.

For about 200 plus pages we get exactly why Dona’s First husband, Vidanoha is a prize louse. Good in bed, in the opinion of a woman with no way to compare. He is a womanizer, gambler, no account, lying, cheating, stealing no-good nick. But every now and then Dona benefits from a good all-night naked romp and on rare occasions the kind of over done gestures that come out of his occasional good luck at gamboling.

Along the way we get an enthusiast’s tour of the underside of the city of Salvador in Bahai, Brazil. The best of Latin music, spicy cooking, ladies of purchasable virtue, gamblers, and the rest. What Amado was reaching for was the same kind of romanticized rascals that Damon Runyon did with his version of Broadway New York’s guys and dolls. All very lively, none to be taken too seriously. Then all replayed over and over. Added in a Chorus of nosy, interfering gossiping neighbors and a vile tongued mother/mother in law. And again, over and over.

Then we get a brief break of Dona the widow. More repetitions of the last paragraph, except from Dona’s point of view… The sex was good

And then she re-marries. Husband number two is everything a respectable person would want. That and Boring. A competent lover, but boring there too. So, what is a virtuous woman to do?

If Amado were writing a book for serious consideration. Dona Flor could be about a woman coming to terms with herself and her sexuality. How the society of her time and place kept even the men from thinking of what their wives might expect of their husbands. Certainly, these subjects get mentioned. In passing. Clearly what Amado wants of for us to experience Bahai as what he imagined it to be. Mostly a low place, but full blooded, alive, varied and never dull.
Jorge Amado can do this. I have read him do it in The Discovery of America by the Turks. He needed to get us there without circling the block so many times.

Given how much better the last quarter of the book was written and how overwhelming the first half… This is less than the book it could have been.
Profile Image for Benji.
164 reviews33 followers
January 23, 2010
This is Middlemarch, written in modern times, that happens to be gloriously in Brazil and in some ways is even better. Add to that his censorship issues and exile, and its a compelling work of art. To contrast this with Middlemarch, I got more out of this because the social conventions and issues are not as dated, the conclusions are still scandalous and it feels like this could still happen now, while Middlemarch is stuck in its age . One of my new, top favorites. It's the same level of quality as 100 Years, but a great deal more accessible. It's got a great deal of repetition, it seems, but really it's about subtle changes over time. So it seems to be the same, nearly is the same, but by the end of the book a lot has changed. Awesome, not too high flying, the characters are believable and you begin to really feel affection for them. People have their vices but are presented as three-dimensional. In other words, they dont just have vices. Highly recommended, long but written with a speedy, fluid style that takes you through 100 pages in very little time.
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books336 followers
Currently reading
May 2, 2021
210425: well i have to up the rating- without reading it again- because i just watched the film of it and really really really want to read its again, but. this is decades later and i cannot find my copy! so i will have to do with the library copy when i get it. soon... 210501 found my copy!

.???... sometime in the 80s?: when the flesh is weak: feed it! dona flor’s recipes and the necessity of pleasure in food and sex…
Profile Image for Marysya.
284 reviews25 followers
July 26, 2021
Дуже темпераментний роман, який аж бурлить латиноамериканським запалом.
Тут гарячі сварки і ще гарячіші любощі, африканські та бразильські божества, екзотичні страви і музика, ну й іскра магічного реалізму.
Це книга контрастів, де життя розпусних повій та азартних гравців переплітаються з доброчесними і поважними громадянами.
А який прекрасний іронічний гумор! Просто вибухова карнавальна суміш!
Profile Image for Betty.
405 reviews47 followers
June 1, 2011
The truth about human nature and human happiness is the message of this story. The middle-class inhabitants of a small neighborhood of Salvador, Bahia, have their traditional ideas about everyday life, behavior distinct from the practices of disreputable, immoral lowlifes, artists, and street-corner musicians elsewhere in the town. Their insularity is occasionally challenged by more progressive types among themselves, namely Dona Flor or Dona Norma. Do the deities influence them as well?... does anyone influence these pagan gods through proper rituals?...how is good and bad luck explained? The distinction between the upright and seedy parts of town gets broken down. However skeptical about the explanations offered by those mercenary mediums who are keen to supernatural presences, the reader sees that some voodoo rituals/human petitions to gods as well as someone like deeply feeling Dona Flor find a pathway(s) between everyday and eternal realms. When Dona Flor considers that "honor" and reputation require her to forsake immodest Vadinho, will she eventually be sorry? Does she have time to change her mind? The dichotomy of either/or choices, it turns out, is false; to choose between marriage or career, spirit or manner, life or death, struggle or placidity (as in gambling) is backward and not conducive to well-being. Having a foot in both realms, Vadinho is both spirit and matter, though the successful petition to the gods by the African-Brazilian religious cult prefer the dead man settled forever where he belongs. The fantastical, melodramatic, and entertaining ending depicts the great argument within the pantheon, which plays out as meteorological and political events, spectacular and extraordinary by comparison even to the sublimity and sordidness of the everyday. Overall, DONA FLOR is good from beginning to end but is amazing in the last fifth.
Profile Image for Malacorda.
502 reviews311 followers
August 26, 2018
Bahia... che profumi, che atmosfere... se ripenso a questo libro mi sembra di ricordare un viaggio e non una lettura: mi sembra di esserci stata veramente.
Storia coinvolgente con una indimenticabile protagonista femminile.
Profile Image for Yigal Zur.
Author 10 books126 followers
December 6, 2018
i like Amado writing as he has a keen eye for his people and for this you have to travel in your own country. especially Brazil which is so diverse. it is a colorful picture of Brazil. still
Profile Image for gatos_y_letras Maria Correas.
201 reviews72 followers
September 2, 2021
Doña Flor es una mujer diez. Trabajadora, simpática y de buena planta. ¿El problema? Vadinho, su marido, es un caradura y un cantamañamas de muchísimo cuidado. Es muy ‘jijí jajá’ pero su descontrol y desfachatez sacan de quicio a cualquiera. Pero ella, enamoradita perdida, aguanta carros y carretas hasta que Vadinho muere durante el Carnaval. A partir de ahí empezará un proceso de transformación en Flor. O no.

Ésta es una lectura de lo más veraniega y sabrosona (en todos los sentidos posibles). Una telenovela en toda regla (pero de gran calidad literaria, conste en acta).

Una novela llena de momentos y diálogos chistosísimos, con una gran riqueza de lenguaje (qué gran trabajo de las traductoras que lo han sabido plasmar tan bien en nuestro idioma) y de elementos de cultura, religión y folclore brasileños totalmente desconocidos para mí. Un disfrute.

¿Algún ‘pero’? Sí, lo hay. Para mi gusto le sobran páginas aquí y ahí. Tiene fragmentos un tanto repetitivos y, aunque paradoxalmente no se me ha hecho larga, creo que la novela habría funcionado un pelín mejor de haber sido más concisa. Pero, oye, una muy buena lectura que me deja con ganas de más Jorge Amado.
Profile Image for Maria Yankulova.
670 reviews239 followers
March 17, 2019
Това ми беше 1та среща с Жоржи Амаду и ме завладя силно неговата проза. Много се забавлявах с главната героиня. Изключително колоритна книга.
Profile Image for Nevena.
Author 3 books160 followers
June 23, 2021
Добре написана книга, но на места я намирах за доста монотонна и едно и също се поваряше отново и отново. Всъщност не я добетох, но стигнах до половината.
Profile Image for Giovanna Tanzi.
35 reviews
April 20, 2021
Questo libro é arrivato sul mio scaffale in una maniera insolita: illegittimamente preso in prestito (o forse dovrei dire rubato) alla mia stronza padrona di casa di Bruxelles, un'edizione Garzanti abbastanza bruttina e vecchiotta (1985). Inconsapevolmente ho cominciato a leggerlo proprio perché speravo che non parlasse di una vedova che si sarebbe risposata. Ops, é andata proprio così!

Jorge Amado mi ha dato quello che mi aspettavo nel modo in cui non mi aspettavo: tra piatti brasiliani, olio di dende, serenate, programmi radiofonici e drammi interiori. Ogni emozione o sensazione, ogni stato d'animo é accompagnato da un piatto. Non é quello che ci succede tutti i giorni? Il cibo é vita, il cibo é la nostra quotidianità, e Jorge celebra ogni piccolezza che di solito viene trascurata.
"Dona Flor e i suoi due mariti" parla di amore e passione in un modo incredibilmente reale: l'amore non è solo romantico, l'amore é anche nelle viscere, nel corpo.  L'amore é sentimento, ma allo stesso tempo bisogno di sicurezza, rassicurazione, certezze. Proprio questo rappresentano i due mariti di Dona Flor, divisa e combattuta, prima di capire che non potrebbe mai essere ciò che vuole se rinunciasse a uno dei due.  Flor é un personaggio stupendo perché ci rispecchia tutti: chi non è stato diviso tra due emozioni opposte, provandole allo stesso tempo, due amori, decisioni ecc.? Chi non vorrebbe risolvere i propri problemi sperando nell'occulto, nella magia, nella spiritualità, in una terza via, nell'irreale?
Tutto questo è accompagnato dalla cultura bahiana, fatta di persone che spettegolano, giudicano, dal bigottismo della religione, l'osservanza dei riti candomblé, le spiagge brasiliane, il rumore delle onde, i quartieri del vizio, del gioco e delle prostitute, ma soprattutto la varietà, la differenza e la pazzia di quello che Bahia rappresenta. Si percepisce l'amore che lo scrittore ha per questa terra.

Inoltre, la scrittura é adorabile: popolare, schietta, a volte anche volgare! Senza pretese, dritta al cuore.

Non posso non concludere con due frasi che trovo amaramente stupende:

"Tu non sai che oscuro pozzo sia il cuore della gente"

"La felicità non ha storia, con una vita felice non si può scrivere un romanzo".
Profile Image for Utti.
408 reviews29 followers
October 1, 2021
Amado catapulta il suo lettore per le strade di Salvador de Bahia con forza inondandolo di sapori, profumi e rumori. Una storia complicata di passioni e desideri in cui emerge prepotente la figura di Dona Flor, bahiana entusiasta ma serie, combattuta tra due mondi diversi.
Permeato di magia e tradizione brasiliana un bel viaggio tra culture ed emozioni.
Profile Image for Marvin.
1,414 reviews5,321 followers
April 20, 2009
A book with everything; sly wit, erotic passion, voodoo, a ghost, rapturous meanderings over food, even a recipe or two. What do you serve at a funeral wake? Dona Flor can tell you. Dona Flor is in love with her husband but he is a womanizer, a gambler and a drunk and manages to die of a heart attack in the first chapter. Dona Flor is devastated but her friends thinks she should be lucky to be rid of such a loser. But he did have a certain something... Dona Flor finds a new husband and he is a faithful and adoring man but maybe a little boring. Then her first husband returns. This is a story that flows with beautiful language, even in the translation.There are lots of side stories about minor characters that makes you feel you are living in this Brazilian town. One of my favorite Latin American novels.
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