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Pierced by the Sun

29/05/2017

Pierced by the Sun

by Laura Esquivel

Lupita, a Mexican police officer, is a truly unpleasant woman who routinely gets roaring drunk, curses everyone and everything, and assaults others in fits of rage.  Tormented by demons, sad memories and addictions, she stumbles through her life without purpose or intention until she witnesses a puzzling murder. This is not, however, a murder mystery; it is a story of redemption.

Though I typically love Laura Esquivel’s work, I found it difficult to get through the first half of this book because Lupita is so profoundly unlikeable.  She has few redeeming qualities, and yet, I became interested in her fate.  Slowly, she also seemed to take an interest in her life as she woke from a fog of intoxication and regret.

Esquivel, the author of Like Water for Chocolate, is fiercely patriotic, showing great love for her native Mexico, while criticizing the government and the drug cartels. In this novel, the author bluntly confronts these self-serving groups, who act with impunity, shirking their responsibilities in favour of personal gain. 

Translated from the Spanish, the prose is simple but not simplistic.  The initial chapters merely focus on the thoughts of a woman trying to survive. As she recovers from her delirium, the author introduces concepts such as social responsibility and the right to self-protection.  As Lupita finally finds her place in this world, Esquivel expresses the fervent hope that the nation as a whole can do the same.

Pierced by the Sun by sonja_library