The Divine Husband: A Novel

Francisco Goldman

Published by Atlantic Books
ISBN 10: 1843544040 / ISBN 13: 9781843544043
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Synopsis: The Divine Husband follows Maria de las Nieves Moran on her journey from closeted girlhood in a riotous convent to social, sexual and intellectual emancipation in the giddy city of New York. Her life is told through a series of unforgettable characters who strive, just as she does, for love and success in late-nineteenth century America, both North and South: Jose Marti, poet and hero of Cuban independence; Mack Chinchilla, entrepreneur and idealist; and a stifled English Diplomat all become enthralled by the charismatic Maria, and, perhaps, conspire in her downfall as she gives birth to a daughter that one of them may have fathered. This is a novel of great beauty and wisdom, filled with disarming Indian girls, wandering Jewish coffee farmers, eccentric shaman priests, and the founder of the rubber-balloon industry - a nocturnal prophylactic producer. Francisco Goldman has written a novel of great humanity and heart that will be a literary event.

Review: No reader will come away hungry from the five-course meal of Francisco Goldman's inventive third novel, The Divine Husband. Set in Central America and New York in the late 19th Century, this is the story of Maria de las Nieves Moran, a clever, strong-willed girl of mixed heritage--half Irish-American, half Mayan Indian. In childhood, she and her closest friend, Paquita, discovered the pleasures of making themselves sneeze with fibers of wool extracted from their clothing. When Paquita, at age 12, began to return the attentions of a rapacious Liberal reformer nicknamed El Anticristo, Maria de las Nieves made Paquita swear not to surrender her virginity before she did. Immediately, the scheming Maria de las Nieves announced her vocation, and joined a convent. Goldman's concentrated prose is leavened with eccentric, often brilliant metaphors (the spread of a rumor is described as "a hemispheric cloud of pigeons looking for statues to land on"), calling to mind the great magical realist writers--Grass, Kundera, Garcia Marquez--and ensuring that not a word is wasted on flat exposition. --Regina Marler

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Title: The Divine Husband: A Novel
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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