Paradise

Elena Castedo, Author Grove Weidenfeld $19.95 (328p) ISBN 978-1-55584-279-6
In her first novel, Casteda, who was raised in Chile, recreates the magical world of a group of South American aristocrats just after WW II, but diminishes the charm of her tale by dragging it on too long. The narrator, a lively youngster named Solita, lives in poverty in an unnamed Latin American country where her parents are political refugees from Franco's Spain. While her father dabbles in radical politics, her mother, a renowned beauty, tries to better her family's status by hobnobbing with wealthy eccentrics. One of them, ``Tia'' Merce, a bisexual fond of Solita's mother, invites the family to her lush country estate, El Topaz. Among Merce's three spoiled daughters, Solita begins an education in the ways of the upper classes. Merce's constant stream of guests, their chatter and their pretensions are vividly conveyed; Solita's naive, highly accurate descriptions of her elders are often riotously funny. The novel ends with a tragic murder and a resulting loss of innocence for all the children. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Hardcover - 978-0-517-11025-6
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-446-39345-4
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-8021-3427-1
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