Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Mystery of the Tanias (a.k.a: El Misterio de las Tanias) by Sebastian Edwards

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

 To uncover his best friend s murderers, a professor will travel the world. After countless liaisons and thrashings, he discovers that the key to his friend s mysterious death lies in the hands of a group of women known as the Tanias, wealthy, attractive and influential, these women were recruited as Cuban secret service agents at the command of the Revolution. The Tanias represent the entryway to the mythical treasure chest. An excellent novel. The plot on the Cuban secret service, the lost money of the Montoneros and a California professor s misfortune, is one of most ingenious, amusing and intriguing that I have read in recent times.

My Review

I read this book during this year Read-a-Thon. It was recommended to me by my aunt, and I had it with me for a while before tackling it. Why? I'm not sure, I had other books with me, from the library, books to read before the movies came out...anyway, I decided I would finally read it and it seemed like a nice "rest" for my brain, being in Spanish.

You see, living your daily life in your second or in my case, third language is very tiresome sometimes! But worst than that is when you start forgetting the right words in your mother tongue because you rarely use it. You are going to ask me why then don't I write this blog in Spanish...well, because I want it to reach as much people as possible one day, and just like in science it is English that is the most accessible right now. 

Anyway, I think this is one of the problems that I had with Edwards: his Spanish. I don't want to point out every single expression that I found odd, every Anglicism used in the book, but it was hard to get into the story with this. And is not because he is form Chili, because I've read and loved Isabel Allende. I've read several Latin-American authors and never before did I have a problem with their writing. Sure, sometimes I would find expressions or words that were not familiar to me, but in this book it was the way things were said...maybe is just that he is more used to writing economics books, and going to fiction was not easy to him; also the fact that is his first novel...but I didn't like the construction of the story in itself.

The story wasn't bad, I thought it had a good premise which is why in the first time I accepted my aunt's suggestion. The story is even considered plausible by some, but for me there were several links missing while telling the whole story. 

I liked the way the Tanias are depicted, as very powerful, smart and beautiful women, who get infiltrated in the high circles of politics, awaiting for an order to act. But right there, I was hoping for a chapter actually letting us know more about them. We learn what was the principle of the operation, but we don't get to know the Tania herself, and I think that would've made the book more interesting.

This book wasn't for me. I had higher expectations I'm afraid. I know the book was well researched, hence the fact that could be consider as actually plausible, is what made me want to finish the book. But the fiction part of the book needed depth in my opinion.

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