So this week’s book is magical realism for the modern age, and it’s delightful. Meche returns to Mexico City in 2009 after the death of her father, to attend his funeral and to sort his personal effects. She’s not seen him or spoken to him in twenty years, and hasn’t been back to Mexico City in eighteen. She left in 1988, and the circumstances surrounding that and her reluctance to return are explored in a series of flashback chapters as she deals with her family in 2009 and runs into the two people she wanted to see least of all, the closest friends of her teen years: Sebastian and Daniele.
Of course every work of magical realism has to have that magic within the real, and in this book it has to do with music. Music runs through this book like a skeleton, it holds up and defines everything from Meche’s relationships to the central thrust of the story – Meche’s discovery in 1988 that she could use certain music to make things happen. To create magic. She pulls her two best friends into a coven of sorts and they work magicks together, but teenage Meche is difficult and angry, manipulative and often bitter, and what began as a way to change things they don’t like spirals for her into something darker.
Encountering Sebastian and Daniele in 2009 forces Meche to reexamine that year through adult eyes, something she’s thus far refused to do in her determination to believe that she was betrayed. She discovers in doing so that things were not entirely as she’d thought, and stubborn, irascible, intractible Meche is made to re-evaluate the choices she’s made and given the chance to change her mind, to take a leap of faith, and change her life.
This book is wonderful, a literary, beautifully crafted modern tale of magic, memory, betrayal and love. I heartily recommend it.
You can buy this book in the UK here
And in the US here