James Scudamore's second novel, Heliopolis, (after The Amnesia Clinic) is a strikingly vivid and well-written story about Ludwig (Ludo) Aparecido dos Santos, a man who was born in one of São Paulo's largest favelas, or shantytowns, and shortly thereafter "rescued" along with his mother from its impoverished lifestyle by the wealthy and somewhat slimy character, Zé Fischer Carnicelli and his philanthropist wife Rebecca. Ludo's mother is hired as a cook at the Carnicellis' weekend home in the Brazilian countryside, a place where Ludo develops a taste for good food and the freedom of the outdoors. He also begins to cultivate his love for Melissa, Zé's daughter. As Ludo grows up and eventually comes to be adopted by the Carnicelli family, their differences in socio-economic status become undeniable, and his relationship to everyone around him begins to change. He ...
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A panoramic view of the Favela da Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, taken by Eric Schockmel.
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