Veracruz

Rosalind Wright, Author HarperCollins Publishers $18.95 (472p) ISBN 978-0-06-015541-4
Something interesting must have happened in the Mexican port city of Veracruz during the years 19111914. But you would be hard pressed to find evidence of it in this tedious historical novel. The period was one in which charismatic revolutionary Francisco Madera unseated corrupt Porfirio Diaz, ushering in an epoch of instability with international repercussions. Yet while plots and counterplots must have abounded during the Madera years, little of that intrigue is conveyed here. Instead, we have the domestic minutiae of the book's main characters, among them: the wife of an American coffee plantation manager and her bereaved sister, who falls dangerously in love; a spiritualist trying to establish a new religion among the city's prostitutes; a man whose fate seems tied to that of his physical double, President Madera; and an adventurous American plantation owner who dabbles in Mexican politics. Chief among the book's flaws is that none of these characters provides the strong center the novel needs as the plot winds its way in desultory fashion toward a tepid climax. 20,000 first printing; $20,000 ad/promo. (April 2)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Hardcover - 611 pages - 978-0-07-072077-0
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