Claudia Marcucetti Pascoli: Heridas de agua [Wounds of Water]

The latest addition to my website is Claudia Marcucetti Pascoli‘s Heridas de agua [Wounds of Water]. This is a quirky novel about Mexican history and politics, with some of the narration by a mill, where much of the action is set, and a series of ghosts. Gioconda Cattaneo de González Núñez, born in Naples, marries a Mexican, José Crescencio. He is not a good husband, unfaithful and violent. Gioconda soon dies, drowned in a well near the mill. Was it suicide, accident or murder? Though her body is dead, her spirit lives on and she joins other ghosts living in the mill. She follows events, trying to protect her son (whose father is probably not José Crescencio). We also follow the fortunes of Fortunato, another Italian immigrant, who may have been a lover of Gioconda and whose stepson is the biological son of José Crescencio. While most of the action takes place at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, including the early part of the Mexican Revolution, we actually follow the mill’s story from Cortés in the sixteenth century to the present day. We also follow the history and politics of Mexico, with the role of women, political corruption in high places and the poor/rich divide all playing a key role. It is an enjoyable read and tells us about Mexican history but it is not a great novel.

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