Magical Realism at its Best

Aura by Carlos Fuentes

Book description from Amazon:

Felipe Montero is employed in the house of an aged widow to edit her deceased husband’s memoirs. There Felipe meets her beautiful green-eyed niece, Aura. His passion for Aura and his gradual discovery of the true relationship between the young woman and her aunt propel the story to its extraordinary conclusion.

(Review below was wrote this on March 23, 2001 while I was in college)

The novel Aura by Carlos Fuentes is the best book I have read in all four of my college years. I am an English major and I have read many different authors, but this book is my absolute favorite. It is written unexpectedly in second person, putting the reader right into the shoes of the main character. I read this book about two semesters ago and I still remember its imagery vividly.

If you hate to read books, you will still love this novel, or at least be completely engrossed until the end. Its full of striking scenes and imaginative storytelling that will keep you turning pages until the whole thing is read. As soon as I was done, I re-read the book and then lent it to both my parents to read. My copy was printed in Spanish, with the English translation on the opposite page. My parents couldn’t put it down and were immediately hooked and drawn into the story.

You cannot help but be impacted not only by the way the story is told in second person, but also by the palpable environment it creates inside the old woman’s home. It becomes another dimension, separate from the outside world, in which time, space and reality have no meaning. The lines between sleeping and waking are blurred. The reader feels constantly in suspense.

It is a dark, ultimately sad and haunting story, but very satisfying in a strange way. It is excellent and unlike any book you have ever read or will read. It’s an inspiration to writers and book lovers alike. There are a lot of hidden messages that are up to the reader to sort out. The story is filled with passionate restraint and emotional depth.



April 5, 2013. Tags: , , , , . books, writing.

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