The Ladies of Managua

Eleni N. Gage. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-05864-5
In Gage’s (Other Waters) sweet, stately story, three generations of women reunite in Managua, Nicaragua, for a family funeral, where they reflect on their loves, losses, and what the future holds for each of them. Isabela, burying her husband of over 50 years, slips into memories of her first love while her daughter, Ninexin, who left her husband and child to fight for her country, longs to reconnect with her own daughter, Maria, who returns to Nicaragua from New York as an adult with secrets of her own. Unfolding in an unhurried fashion through these three alternating viewpoints, the first half of the book revolves around each woman’s interior reflections: Maria’s anxiety over her noncommittal boyfriend and her long-held resentment toward her mother, Ninexin’s guilt at leaving her daughter behind, and Isabela’s absorption in reliving a long-ago love affair. The story comes to life, however, as mysteries are revealed, such as just what Maria is running away from and the true circumstances of Maria’s father’s death as a young, idealistic revolutionary. Along the way, glimpses of the beautiful landscape and the history of Nicaragua provide a backdrop to a universal narrative of hurt and forgiveness. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/30/2015
Release date: 05/05/2015
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-250-09384-4
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