Tuesday, May 26, 2009
What do a naive and deeply sensitive college student, a modern-day Zorro who goes around slashing the rear ends of women in mini-skirts, a smug and selfish artist with a love of LSD, an ex-husband with his eye on revenge, a woman who collects torture devices, and a socialist--maybe communist--best friend who is in love with a priest, have in common?
They all live in steamy San Juan, Puerto Rico and they can all be found in Sunstruck, the latest release from talented author Mayra Calvani.
I've read several books by Calvani, but nothing could have prepared me for what I found in Sunstruck. Realizing how difficult satire can be to pull off, Calvani's witty prose captured me right away and kept me turning the pages.
Written in third person present--a challenge in and of itself--Sunstruck tells the story of Daniella, a college student studying architecture, who is trying to find her place in the world while surrounded by the most bizarre individuals.
From Tony, her live-in boyfriend whose obsession with LSD is only equal to his hatred for Daniella's cat, to Daniella's ex-husband who is married to a woman better known as Lady Dracula because of her gothic appearance and strange collection of torture devices, the further into this book you get, the stranger they all become. Just when you think you've got the situation figured out, you discover you're not quite there yet.
Calvani has taken human nature and put it under a microscope--a warped and slightly cracked microscope.
The chapters are short enough that you can read several in one sitting, but you won't be able to put the book down anyway. I was a bit cool on the cover art, but it captured the essence of the book well, and the cat on the back is absolutely gorgeous.
Proving once again that she is a master storyteller in multiple genres, Sunstruck by Mayra Calvani is both witty and brilliant.
Author: Mayra Calvani
Publisher: Zumaya Publications
SRP: $14.99 (U.S.)