We know Alvaro is dead and now we know more about Manuel’s past and the loss of his sister and his parents. This is an incredible history of loss. How does this affect Manuel and his grief process? Sounds like he hasn’t fully grieved his sister’s death and what does that mean for him now?
Not only that, but he’s told that his husband had secrets. Good grief. I can’t imagine losing my husband and then finding out that there were things he was keeping from me. And that’s just it. Redondo has pinpointed a universal fear: the fear of betrayal by a loved one. Lies, secrets, death, unanswered questions. Of course, it makes for a good story. 🙂
He’s a marquis! I love this. Social hierarchy, power, money, reputation, rumors.
Redondo goes back and describes how Manuel and Alvaro met. I, for one, find it a bit creepy. I’m not sure I would like someone showing up to multiple book signings. Stalker? I can see the sexual intrigue that might excite some people. I think I’d be more concerned about being kidnapped.
At the funeral, the conflict between religion and sexual orientation becomes apparent. No wonder Manuel has a reluctance to speak openly with a priest. Again, I am so glad to see a homosexual character portrayed in a human story, in a real way. It’s like turning on a light. We can all see better when we look through someone else’s eyes.
Nogueira delivers the news that we knew was coming: murder. He’s just retired. Why now? What is his motivation for coming out with this information? The autopsy was stopped by??? So, does this mean that the police in charge are in collusion with the family or being bribed?
page 81, Manuel is imagining his childhood in this magical place. He’s imagining Alvaro as a child and then putting himself there, wondering what it would have been like to live this way, in this place. What if it had all been different for him? If Alvaro had been a female character instead, would Manuel be able to superimpose himself in this dream world? “That yearning desire [for the imagined childhood] was not oppressive. It held no bitterness or rancor but was, instead, melancholy, a nostalgia for something that had never been and now never could be. But it was so lovely…”
I love Herminia.
On page 96, Mei hugs him and he realizes that he hasn’t had that kind of physical contact since Alvaro’s death except for Samuel. I think it would have worked better to have him realize this when Samuel hugged him on page 87. Children are so powerful. Their innocence and bluntness are hard to put aside and I think that moment of free-flowing love would have made more of an impact. Because his realization is a big deal. I feel like it was wasted on Mei who is a side-line character.
There are a lot of names. Lots of characters. We’ll see whether they are all necessary as we go.