Swift as Desire Book Review

Swift as Desire

5 out of 5 stars

“No matter how successful a relationship may be, both sexually and emotionally, the lack of money can hamper and undermine, little by little, even the greatest passion.”

I never would have picked this book up out of my own choosing. You see I’m not a big fan of adult fiction and much less romance novels but my local library picked this book for Spanish book club and I wanted to give it a try. I would’ve read it in Spanish but I know the book is already complex in English and I wanted to be able to understand what I was reading.

I was a little bit worried about reading this in English versus Spanish because the content felt more suited to the Spanish language. Once I started I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by reading it in English though but I do believe that it would be more romantic to read in Spanish.

Swift as Desire tells the story of a poor man who falls in love with a rich woman. Both of these individuals have different perspectives on what it means to love someone and how to show someone that they love them. They’re love for each other allows them to look past their own perceptions of love and build a great life with each other until a terrible event occurs. Their daughter uncovers the mystery and tells you how a once great love story becomes an estrangement between her parents.

I was worried that i would get lost in the meaning behind each passage in this book and try to decipher what it meant but I found that this book captivates my interest. I think this book really does a great job of balancing the amount of narration and dialogue that it has. I found that the narrative pieces really add to the story rather than distract from it.

Something that I really enjoyed was how this I was still able to relate to this book even if it was written before my time, and took place long ago in a place I am not too familiar with. I loved the commentary and discussions you can have surrounding the affect that differences in class and education can have on a relationship. I found myself really resonating with Jubilo as he struggles to please his wife who is from a wealthier family.

This book was able to take me through so many emotions as I laughed with the characters, cried for them, and at times yelled at them. It’s been a while since I finished a book in 2 days but I didn’t want to put this done. I even held off watching my favorite tv shows in order to finish this book.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good romance novel and highly recommend it to those of you would read in other languages. I believe that this love story would be much more beautiful told in Spanish.

About the Book: An enchanting, bittersweet story, touched with graphic earthiness and wit; Esquivel shows us how keeping secrets will always lead to unhappiness, and how communication is the key to love.

Instead of entering the world crying like other babies, Júbilo was born with a smile on his face. He had a gift for hearing what was in people’s hearts, for listening to sand dunes sing and insects whisper. Even as a young boy, acting as an interpreter between his warring Mayan grandmother and his Spanish-speaking mother, he would translate words of spite into words of respect, so that their mutual hatred turned to love. When he grew up, he put his gift to good use in his job as a humble telegraph operator. 

But now the telegraph lies abandoned, obsolete as a form of communication in the electronic age, and don Júbilo is on his deathbed, mute and estranged from his beloved wife, Lucha, who refuses to speak to him. What tragic event has come between two such sensuous, loving people to cause their seemingly irreparable rift? What mystery lies behind the death of the son no one ever mentions? Can their daughter bring reconciliation to her parents before it is too late, by acting as an interpreter between them, just as Júbilo used to do for other people? 

Swift as Desire is Laura Esquivel’s loving tribute to her father, who worked his own lifelong magic as a telegraph operator. In this enchanting, bittersweet story, touched with graphic earthiness and wit, she shows us how keeping secrets will always lead to unhappiness, and how communication is the key to love.

About the Author: A teacher by trade, Laura Esquivel gained international attention with Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies and The Law of Love. In both books she manages to incorporate her teaching abilities by giving her readers lessons about life. During an on-line Salon interview with Joan Smith, she said, “As a teacher I realize that what one learns in school doesn’t serve for very much at all, that the only thing one can really learn is self understanding and this is something that can’t be taught.” With the intensity of a committed teacher incorporating glitzy stunts into the curriculum to get the attention of her students, Esquivel took a bold step when she incorporated multimedia in The Law of Love by combining her science fiction, new age, and spiritual story with a CD of arias by Puccini and Mexican danzones, and forty-eight pages of illustrations by a Spanish artist.

About the Book and About the Author borrowed from Goodreads.

If you would like to read this book you can find it at
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/47043/swift-as-desire-by-laura-esquivel/9780385721516/ or look for it at your local library.

Horseman, Pass By Book Review

2 out of 5 stars

Horseman, Pass by with a quote box

“Things are just put together wrong. There’s so much shit in the world a man’s gonna get in it sooner or later, whether he’s careful or not.” 

You ever read a book recommended by others or just because its the book club pick of the month? This is how I came across Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry. Western Fiction is a genre I never knew existed and would have never come across had it not been for the Cahuenga Library’s Book Club.

I read this alongside other books that I was reading and decided to read it a chapter a day just to get through it. The beginning was great and I loved how the cattle disease was inserted into the book. When I read the excerpt of the book it mentions a terrible cattle disease and instantly I was excited about reading this book. You see I love anything about viruses and diseases and when authors seamlessly use one to add to their plot I need to read it.

Larry McMurtry does a great job of giving you a picture of life on a Texas ranch back in the Old West. I loved how descriptive every paragraph was and how elaborate each scene was. Even though the chapters were short and the book is short it has a lot packed in.

What I failed to do was really connect with any of the characters. I was waiting for the moment that I would care for characters the way that I always have with everything that I read but that moment never came for me. In fact I wasn’t even able to hate the character that did a lot of bad stuff because I didn’t feel for the characters that his actions were affecting.

Not being able to connect with the characters made this a hard book to get through. I wish that there was some character development or a plot that I could follow past the cattle disease which is resolved half way through the book. It could also be that I wasn’t able to relate to it and maybe people who grew up in Texas or on a ranch might have more of a connection to this book.

I do think that this was a good read when you take into consideration that this his McMurtry’s first book and that the things he writes after this get better. I now need to get my hands on the film Hud so I can see if that might make me appreciate this book a little more.

About the Book:

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of LonesomeDovecomes the novel that became the basis for the film Hud, starring Paul Newman. In classic Western style Larry McMurtry illustrates the timeless conflict between the modernity and the Old West through the eyes of Texas cattlemen.

Horseman, Pass By tells the story of Homer Bannon, an old-time cattleman who epitomizes the frontier values of honesty and decency, and Hud, his unscrupulous stepson. Caught in the middle is the narrator, Homer’s young grandson Lonnie, who is as much drawn to his grandfather’s strength of character as he is to Hud’s hedonism and materialism. 

When first published in 1961, Horseman, Pass By caused a sensation in Texas literary circles for its stark, realistic portrayal of the struggles of a changing West in the years following World War II. Never before had a writer managed to encapsulate its environment with such unsentimental realism. Today, memorable characters, powerful themes, and illuminating detail make Horseman, Pass By vintage McMurtry. 

About Larry McMurtry:

Larry McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on June 3, 1936. He is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize- winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two essay collections, and more than thirty screenplays. 

His first published book, Horseman, Pass By, was adapted into the film “Hud.” A number of his other novels also were adapted into movies as well as a television mini-series.

Among many other accolades, in 2006 he was the co-winner of both the Best Screenplay Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Brokeback Mountain.” 

What is something you have read and finished because you felt obligated to?