The Living Infinite

Chantel Acevedo. Europa, $17 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-60945-430-2
Acevedo’s wide-ranging historical novel revolves around Eulalia of Spain, a real-life Bourbon princess at the close of the 19th century. With the secret intention of selling her tell-all memoir, Eulalia embarks as an emissary across the Atlantic during a time when her royal family’s power and the country’s colonial clout are on the wane. Eulalia’s life and travels are delivered mostly through the perspective of two Spanish commoners: Amalia, Eulalia’s nurse as a child, and later Amalia’s son, Tomas, who grows up alongside Eulalia and travels to the New World with her. Self-discovery and a muted romance ensue. Acevedo (Love and Ghost Letters) has found a turbulent historical moment, and the period comes vividly to life when the characters visit Cuba and then Chicago for the World’s Fair, though the portions set in Spain are less vibrant. The outspoken Bourbon princess shackled by her gender and position is a worthy protagonist with plenty of complexities to mine, but the novel takes time to find its footing, and Eulalia often disappears behind the many historical details and descriptions of customs. Agent: Stephanie Abou, Massie & McQuilkin Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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