Afternoons of Rain and Chocolate

Amalia Decker Márquez

€ 17,00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Pages: 352
ISBN/EAN: 9788860522443

Tuscany, at the end of the 1800’s. The fever for rubber, «the gold of the new era», convinces Francesca and Vittorio to set out for Pusa-Pusa in Bolivia to flee from an existence of hardships and poverty. Their luck is good and in just a few years their hacienda becomes one of the richest and most prestigious in the area. This is the beginning of the Casserta-Donatello family saga: four generations across a century of Bolivian history wracked by attempts of revolution and bloodthirsty dictators.

At the heart of the story are Francesca and Vittorio’s two wilful, stubborn daughters, divided by opposing conceptions of life. Fancesca Vittoria, her hands always soiled with earth from working for the growth of Pusa-Pusa, and Leonarda who, opposed to the indigenous culture, chooses to flee to Europe. Differences and incomprehensions that seem to perpetuate themselves in the grandchildren: restless Fiore who lets herself wilt in an unhappy marriage, and reckless Valentina who fights body and soul for the freedom of her country.

In Fiore’s voice, the past and the present are fused, and biographies are woven with a colourful kaleidoscope of characters and situations: grandfather Crisanto’s generous words, the Indio nanny, Sinforosa, who reads the future, status-seeking doña Genoveva, Amador’s lusty sexual appetite, Francesca’s Tuscan-Bolivian cooking, Nicómedes’ cowardice, Laura’s courageous determination...

But above all, it is the women who take front and centre, women who are a bit Penelope and a bit Circe. Who manage to conciliate devotion to the Black Madonna of Chuchulaya with devotion to the revolution. Who swing between faithfulness and betrayal, theatrical separations and severe custody of a secret, who give themselves totally and are able to coolly calculate. With a motto that is handed down from mother to daughter: «The women in this family do not cry». And as a conquest of their own private space, an unbridled desire for sensuality in passionate and imaginative afternoons that have the heady taste of dark chocolate.

The author
Amalia Decker Márquez, born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, is a career journalist and a writer by calling. During the dictatorship she was politically persecuted and twice exiled to Mexico; then in the Eighties she was elected deputy in the ranks of the Unidad Democrática y Popular. She has never stopped working as a journalist. Pomeriggi di pioggia e cioccolato is her second novel.
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