This is a masterpiece! An introspection on family, friends, music, and magic. It is captivating from the very beginning up until the very end.
Some of the best aspects of the book are the storytelling and the focus on the characters. It weaves back and forth between the present (which is, in this case, 2009) and the past (which is mostly in 1988). The story deals much more with what happened in 1988 than in the present, but the back-and-forth of the two eras is a constant throughout. I’d say it’s probably about eighty percent from 1988 and (obviously) twenty percent from 2009.
The characters are vividly described, bringing us into this unique world. Personally, I relate very much to the character of Vicente. He is the father of the main character, Meche. Vicente is the epitome of us artistic dudes over the age of thirty who are trying to figure out “What does it all mean?” He spends most of his time at the bar, he procrastinates, he generally finds himself to constantly cause trouble. Yet one can tell that his heart is in the right place. What's more is that he clearly has a lot of creative ideas of which he just isn’t sure what to do with. I must say that- while unfortunate- all of this constitutes an incredibly accurate and realistic portrayal of how many of us men really are when in his situation. I am very impressed with the author’s brilliance in this creation and description of Vicente’s character.
As for the main character, Meche- well, I really didn’t like her very much. Regardless of the intent of the book- I found Meche to be manipulative, shallow, and overall not very bright. Interestingly enough- these qualities led to a frustration of which in turn led to page-turning curiosity trying to figure out what on earth will happen next! The annoyance of the main character provided for a uniquely captivating read.
In conclusion- I highly recommend this book. Particularly for anyone who enjoys the aforementioned topics of family, friends, music, and magic. And for my fellow 30+ artistic dudes- this is an absolute must-read. Required! Speaking of which- I would have enjoyed seeing a bit more about Vicente. But that could make for a great sequel or prequel. Miz Moreno-Garcia is a literary force to be reckoned with and I will definitely check out her other works.