Summary and book reviews of It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo

It Would Be Night in Caracas

by Karina Sainz Borgo

It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo X
It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2019, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2020, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis
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About this Book

Book Summary

Told with gripping intensity, It Would be Night in Caracas chronicles one woman's desperate battle to survive amid the dangerous, sometimes deadly, turbulence of modern Venezuela and the lengths she must go to secure her future.

In Caracas, Venezuela, Adelaida Falcon stands over an open grave. Alone, except for harried undertakers, she buries her mother–the only family Adelaida has ever known.

Numb with grief, Adelaida returns to the apartment they shared. Outside the window that she tapes shut every night―to prevent the tear gas raining down on protesters in the streets from seeping in. When looters masquerading as revolutionaries take over her apartment, Adelaida resists and is beaten up. It is the beginning of a fight for survival in a country that has disintegrated into violence and anarchy, where citizens are increasingly pitted against each other. But as fate would have it, Adelaida is given a gruesome choice that could secure her escape.

Filled with riveting twists and turns, and told in a powerful, urgent voice, It Would Be Night in Caracas is a chilling reminder of how quickly the world we know can crumble.

Excerpt
It Would Be Night In Caracas

We buried my mother with her things: her blue dress, her black flats, and her multifocals. We couldn't say goodbye in any other way, couldn't take those things from her. It would have been like returning her to the earth incomplete. We buried it all, because after her death we were left with nothing. Not even each other. That day we were struck down with exhaustion. She in her wooden box; I on a chair in the dilapidated chapel, the only one available of the five or six I tried for the wake. I could hire it for only three hours. Instead of funeral parlors, the city now had furnaces. People went in and out like loaves of bread, which were in short supply on the shelves but rained down in our memory whenever hunger overcame us.

If I still say "we" when I talk about that day it's out of habit, for the years welded us together like two parts of a sword we could use to defend each other. Writing out the inscription for her headstone, I understood that ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

It Would Be Night in Caracas offers provocative reading for book groups and will appeal to fans of contemporary Latin American fiction. Sainz Borgo's clear, poetic prose and richly textured account of Venezuelan history deliver a remarkable panorama of a country, a city, and a life on the verge of violent change. High stakes combined with a series of dramatic reversals in fortune propel the novel to a satisfying, if unexpected, conclusion...continued

Full Review Members Only (707 words).

(Reviewed by Karen Lewis).

Media Reviews

NPR
Yet, because of this interiority, Sainz Borgo's account of the terror gripping the nation feels amorphous. Rather than a political conflict, this could be a zombie apocalypse for all we know...Though these might seem serious gripes, I found the language in the book to be poetic; it kept me reading, immersed in the beauty of the prose. It Would Be Night in Caracas is a painful, angry book, full of melancholy and rage at the loss of a woman's nation.

New York Times
Though her novel is largely allegorical, Sainz Borgo avoids a narrative that is overly reduced by symbols; the writing, like Coetzee’s, is tense and complex. In her hands, Borges’s question of bravery—and its obverse, cowardice—isn’t a neon theme, but rather a dynamic system made up of choices.

Booklist
Borgo's beautiful prose belies the brutal reality of the breakdown in civil society she lays bare in this powerful literary look at strife-torn Venezuela.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Readers will appreciate how Sainz Borgo puts a human face on the tragedy of Venezuela's upheaval.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Sainz Borgo renders the psychological and emotional toll of government collapse with both nuance and authority...A propulsively written, harrowing story, as desperate as it is timely.

Library Journal (starred review)
Extremely well written, beautifully translated, and graphic enough to make the reader feel afraid of the knocking on the door, this debut novel offers a heartfelt, personal story told without sentimentality while offering keen insight into the everyday fight for survival in a place that is still very much a failed state.

Author Blurb Fernando Aramburu
The voice of a conscience…Dry, concise, direct, with an extraordinary stirring force…Sainz Borgo's novel is simply masterful.

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Beyond the Book

Venezuelan Cuisine

Pabellón Criollo In the novel It Would Be Night in Caracas, protagonist Adelaida endures food scarcity in Venezuela's capital city, Caracas, while recalling favorite foods from happier times. Venezuela—situated along the Caribbean Sea in South America —is home to a vibrant blend of culinary traditions. The country's cuisine has European, African, and indigenous influences that make it irresistible. As with much of Latin America, maize (corn) is a staple of the country. Other popular local crops include plantains, coconut, avocado, mango, guava, citrus, and passion fruit. A few of the nation's most prominent ingredients and dishes include the following:

  • Pabellón Criollo: This combination plate includes black beans, shredded meat, white ...

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