Monday, January 18, 2010

The Mapmaker's Opera by Béa Gonzalez

First sentence:

"It begins in a once-upon-a-time land, on a remote plain, far from the place we call home."


"In a town in the heart of La Mancha, home to Don Quijote and his windmills, to long afternoons and silent, silent nights, the Clemente family lived for centuries, their fortunes tied to those of a plant…

So begins the grand buliéra that is The Mapmaker’s Opera. Born in Seville, Spain to a dishonored governess, Diego Clemente finds solace from the turmoil of his early years in the world of books, in particular, John James Audubon’s Birds of America. Presented with the opportunity to assist the renowned American naturalist Edward Nelson in compiling the first guide to the birds on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, Diego embarks on a journey that will not only hone his artistic talent but will transform his life.

Arriving on the eve of the Mexican Revolution, Diego finds himself in a world of precarious beauty, where opulent henequen plantations are built on the backs of slave labour, and where the social order is on the brink of imploding. There, Diego falls in love with the young Sofia, a woman who longs to be as free as the birds she also loves.

A mesmerizing tale of star-crossed passions, a pair of mysterious birds, and a young man’s quest to honor both his mentor and his father, The Mapmaker’s Opera is a tour de force of lyrical, magical storytelling" -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

This was a beautifully told story about birds, love and people on the eve of revolution. I liked the opera theme throughout as characters entered the scene from stage right or left.

Date read: 1/17/2010
Book #: 3
Challenges: A-Z Challenge 2010, What's in a Name? 3 Challenge, Winter Words Reading Challenge
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0002005425
ISBN-13: 9780002005425
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2005
# of pages: 277
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page


Beth F said...

Sounds interesting. I'll have to look into it.

Tarissa said...

Hi there,
Thanks for checking back in, and leaving a new comment for Winter Words. This book sounds pretty interesting! You wrote a great review for it too.

somewhere in the bookcase,
~ Tarissa