Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Mapmaker's Opera by Bea Gonzalez

This has to be one of the most exquisite stories I have ever read in my life. It also has to be one of the most unique tellings of a story that I have ever read. You see, the reason for this is because it is an opera. The main characters that are mentioned by name in the story are, ultimately, the singers in this written production. They are mentioned beforehand in a list of their respective titles and roles, along with the tone of voice they sing. We have our lead soprano, Sofia Duarte, and our lead tenor, Diego Clemente, along with other mixed, but just as prominent, voices scattered about the pages of this book. But the characters are only one part of the whole that is The Mapmaker's Opera.
The part that makes this story real, and, ultimately, brings the characters to life, is the historical significance involved. This is the telling of a revolt. The telling of social differences, and how those differences affected the lives of the author's characters. The telling of the beginning of the fight that became the Mexican Revolution. Even though the revolt and fight for freedom was mentioned only near the end, the feelings of animosity between the upper and lower classes is riddled throughout the story. Diego Clemente's own mother was sent from her cousin's home in disgrace because of her condition and lower social standing, and Diego himself was turned away by his biological father when he came, on his mother's request, to claim his rightful title.
I was amazed when reading this book, because of the beauty in it. The sights and smells brought to life all the way from Spain to Mexico to the untold past. It was a breathtaking experience. One that took me on the wings of the worlds most beautiful species, birds, and flew me to lands so familiar in name to me but never given true description until now.
This is an opera to see. An opera to experience for yourselves. But delve in its pages gently, for it could sweep you up as quickly in its wonder, its magic, as it did me.

Happy Reading!

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