Pasaquina: A Novel of El Salvador

Erin O'Shaughnessy, Author Saybrook Publishing Company $16.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-933071-05-6
Readers making their way through this strange, imagistic novel will be left wondering what is the point of it all. Events pile on one another pell-mell but to no clear purpose or effect. Pasaquina is a small town in El Salvador, untouched by the civil war raging around it until two seemingly unrelated incidents occur. First, there is the arrival of the beautiful young nun Sister Magdalena, who, it turns out, isn't very interested in a life of contemplative celibacy. Very soon, the guerrilla Beto and his hardened gang also turn up. The nun and the soldier find themselves irresistibly drawn to one another, and a series of catastrophes follow, drastically altering the lives of everyone in Pasaquina. O'Shaughnessy's first novel is not poorly written, and there are some interesting scenes and characterizations, but the lack of focus and narrative drive badly undermine the story. (June 30)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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