A Poor Man’s (or Woman’s) “House of the Spirits”
Ugh. If this hadn’t been my final “Snakes and Ladders” book I’d have DNF’d it. This is essentially a Puerto Rican version of House of the Spirits minus magical realism, plus a plethora of characters and episodes that don’t greatly advance the plot (think 500-episode telenovela) and a whole lot of telling instead of showing. That isn’t to say I learned nothing at all about Puerto Rico, its people and its history — indeed, the island itself was by far this book’s most interesting, believable, fully elaborated and just plain likeable character — but by and large, I’d have accomplished more by reading a nonfiction history book or a travel guide about Puerto Rico … or by going there to see it for myself. (Which I’m still hoping to do at some point.)
Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed my “Snakes and Ladders” run enormously — a huge thanks to Moonlight Reader for her spur-of-the-moment inspiration in initiating this game!
(Charlie and Sunny also say thank you for the exercise and all the snacks along the way.)