I Would Have Loved Him, If I Had Not Kil

Edgard Telles Ribeiro, Author, Margaret A. Neves, Translator
Edgard Telles Ribeiro, Author, Margaret A. Neves, Translator St. Martin's Press $18.95 (199p) ISBN 978-0-312-11002-4
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-312-14360-2
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-312-30389-1
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Behind this first novel's snappy title lurks an elegant and quietly intoxicating story. In an antique store in Brasilia, Fernando, a failed filmmaker, and Andrea, the leading lady from his one disappointing film, find each other again after 10 years apart. Andrea seduces Fernando with her great-aunt Guilhermina's life story--a wild tale involving a child bride who is violated by her husband and exacts a rigorous revenge; a rich young widow who discovers her sexuality while traveling through Europe in the '30s; and a reclusive elderly woman living on a remote Brazilian ranch whom Andrea briefly came to know. Though Fernando and Andrea's affair doesn't last, their fascination for Guilhermina endures, and each independently researches different facets of her life. The novel's ending, in which past and present amiably commingle, is inconclusive and unbalanced, if only because it's skewed toward Fernando's perspective. But Ribeiro, a diplomat by profession, is a natural writer. His language is impeccable and imbued with a grace that's impossible to resist. (Aug.)
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