SWIFT AS DESIRE

Laura Esquivel, Author . Crown $22 (208p) ISBN 978-0-609-60870-8

The princess of modern Latin literature (second only to Isabel Allende) has written yet another quirky and sensual story with a moralistic twist, its cute-as-can-be characters arguing and loving with equal passion. But Esquivel's fourth novel lacks that certain something that enthralled readers of Like Water for Chocolate. Her writing is choppy, cliché-laden and has the feel of a translation (no translator is credited). Yet it invokes chuckles and sighs, and if a reader craves more of the sweet wackiness that made the author's first book so appealing, Swift As Desire certainly delivers. Since birth, Júbilo has had a zest for life and an uncanny ability to hear the words in people's hearts before they are able to (or just didn't want to) say them. He puts his talents to good use as a telegraph operator in 1920s Mexico and falls in love with beautiful, wealthy Luz. The couple marries, has children and enjoys a heavenly existence. But something happens during their idyllic life together that drives them apart. Now, their daughter Lluvia is nursing her father as he is bedridden with Parkinson's disease. Before Júbilo dies, Lluvia desperately wants to know the cause of her parents' separation. Through Morse code, she communicates with her father and uncovers the secret—nothing juicy, just a sad story that could have been avoided if the lines of communication between husband and wife had been more open. Esquivel's storytelling abilities are in top form here, and, despite its unoriginality, the novel succeeds in conveying a touching message of the power of familial and romantic love. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/16/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
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FORMATS
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-4000-3326-3
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4070-9649-0
Hardcover - 200 pages - 978-0-7540-9123-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-41978-2
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-552-77892-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-375-41979-9
Paperback - 206 pages - 978-0-552-99954-0
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-385-72151-6
Hardcover - 317 pages - 978-0-375-43142-5
Hardcover - 200 pages - 978-0-7540-1710-3
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-0825-5
Hardcover - 230 pages - 978-0-552-15029-3
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