Fred (portland )
Lima Nights by Marie Arana
A sensory narrative about a love-affair and its impact on friends and family, this book submerges the reader in color, aroma, heat and light. It's tropical heat at every level. I felt like I was back in Lima myself, wandering among colonial houses reeking of past wealth, jungle scents, and Latin spices.
Patricia (New Canaan CT)
Despite the promise of an erotic love story, I felt somewhat detached from the story of Carlos and his mistress Maria.
Because their personalities weren't well developed, they remained characters in a book, not people whose lives I could become involved in and care about . The story seemed to be an age old one of Latin American men being hot blooded and needing to feed their sexual appetite and yet this time Carlos went too far, destroying his entire family. The author wrote about voodoos and hexes which enlivened the plot, and the ending had an unexpected twist, but over all, I felt it lacked passion.
Elise (Macedonia OH)
Not a Happily Ever After
Lima Nights starts out as a very passionate love story and ends in complete turmoil. Readers looking for a "happily ever after" will not find it here. I continuously wished I could understand the characters more fully. Arana would repeatedly brush the questions I had about what was motivating the main characters; however, she would only partially answer them - always leaving the reader to draw his/her own conclusions.
Sharon (Chicago IL)
What begins as a story of infatuation and promise of new love between Carlos and Maria turns into a melancholy saga of lost family ties and misguided dreams.
Clean poetic prose and rich flavorful descriptions of modern day Lima center around a lovely old mansion that has been in Carlos' family for generations. The house becomes a symbol of all things held dear to those in Carlos' family including his wife, mother and sons.
The class and culture disparity between Carlos and Maria sets a tone of tension, leading them to a series of unfortunate events and ultimately sealing their fates.
Carlos' three close friends, Willy, Marco and Oscar provide a sorely needed dose of reality and banter to a story that left me feeling empty and sad at the conclusion.
Susan (Palatka FL)
Lima Nights by Marie Arana
Lima Nights is a story about Carlos and Maria, two people from different worlds and different generations. This book hooked me right at the beginning and held me throughout. While I didn't find either Carlos or Maria to be the most likable of characters, they were so well written that I could understand the desperation of each which led them to take the actions they took. I liked the setting as well, and the end was satisfying.
Linda Posson, Fort Collins, CO (Rockport ME)
Aranas latest book is a delicious read, the kind you might devour while sipping your afternoon tea or a glass of wine in front of the fireplace. Chocked full of sensual description and poetic metaphors, she leads the reader into the bizarre world of two disparate characters each clinging to a dream of what their life could be. I can imagine my daughters and their friends as well as my own circle of 60-something readers enjoying this page-turner.
Erica (Chicago IL)
Although I enjoyed this book, I thought it promised more than it delivered. The author had a canvass on which she could have developed her characters, their backgrounds, the motivations for their actions much more acutely than she did. It is a story of passion, but we never understand why Carlos has the passion he does. It is a story of loss, but we never understand why the characters are willing to lose as much as they do. It was well-written and an easy story in which to become absorbed, but it left me feeling that the author didn't want to explore a depth of her characters, which made it a good book, but not a great one.