cover image Blue Flowers

Blue Flowers

Carola Saavedra, trans. from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. Riverhead, $26 (208p) ISBN 978-1-59463-175-7

Saavedra’s captivating novel tells the stories of Marcos, a recently divorced man settling into a new apartment, and A., a mysterious woman recollecting a failed affair. Their narratives cross paths when Marcos receives a letter written by A. that is meant for his apartment’s previous tenant, who was also A.’s former lover. For nine straight days, additional envelopes from A. appear in Marcos’s mailbox, and each letter digs deeper into A.’s troubled romance. Marcos, himself feeling distant from his ex-wife, his young daughter, his work, and his social circle, reads each letter with a growing fascination. After considering hunting for A.’s intended recipient, he instead frequents shops mentioned by A., and as his obsession with her blooms, he shuts out all responsibilities and takes to searching for the anonymous writer. In chapters alternating between letters and Marcos’s reactions, Saavedra steadily unveils the darkness permeating the lives of her protagonists, and in doing so creates a literary psychological thriller that questions what is real and what is imagined. This tale of desire and yearning is impossible to put down. (Jan.)