BT-Sweet Diamond Dust

Rosario Ferre, Author Ballantine Books $5.95 (197p) ISBN 978-0-345-34778-7
The history of one contentious family is the basis of the short novel and three stories in this volume spanning a century of national transformation and political and economic upheaval in Puerto Rico. Ferre, a native of that country, begins with an idyll of village life (``It was because the residents of Guamani considered themselves to be the children of their mountain, which resembled from afar a huge green velvet breast, that they were a peaceful people, leery of war and ready to share what little they owned with their neighbors.'') and concludes with a dark vision of the future options of statehood and independence. The tale of family intrigue celebrates the scenic wonder of Puerto Rico, ``not a land but a landscape,'' and is filtered through several perspectives; the distinct narrative voices blend to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts. Ferre's seriousness of purpose is conveyed in the symbolism of the stories and their fateful twists of plot. If the tales at times seem overburdened with significance, the graceful writing more than compensates. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-452-27748-9
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