Skip to main content

The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferre


Isabel Monfort, married to Quintin Mendizabal, intended to write the story of the Mendizabals and the Monforts, to account the history behind each generation. But somewhere along the way, it turned into something else, a novel about freedom from the clutching hands of power whether it be political and familial.

In this saga of a wealthy Puerto Rican family, secrets go abound with riches and status. Beginning with Buenaventura Mendizabal’s arrival to the island in the early twentieth century as a descendant of old Spanish Conquistadors, it encompassed several decades up until the mid-nineties.

One day, Quintin discovers the manuscripts and was in complete disagreement with the accuracy of the facts he read, claiming it a tale of fiction bending to the writer’s whims. With each passing chapter however, Isabel’s writing becomes more poignant, displaying the innermost thoughts and desires of each character. As the drama escalates in the story, so does the conflict in the Mendizabal household and the tension within the nation.

The House on the Lagoon works like a series of stories about the prominent men and matriarchs of the Mendizabals and Monforts as well as the few figures of Peru society. Each chapter is quite a stand alone, each one as engaging as the next. Interspersed between them were small narratives of Quintin and Isabel at the time the novel is being written.

The book also gives the readers a bigger picture of the political turmoil and prejudices within the country in the old days and its stumbling effects being a commonwealth colony of United States. Not only the nation but the characters themselves struggle for an identity.

Rosario Ferre, as the voice of Isabel, writes in a nostalgic way, warm and fierce at the same time, matching the heat of the South American island which could be sleepy or unrepentant. Her characters wield powers of their own; the men with their influence and wealth and ancestry blood running through their veins, the women, like Petra and Ermelinda Quinones, with the force of their will and wit.
The little touch of magic only enhanced an exotic flavour to the cultural expressions portrayed in the story. I love its added drama to fate of the Russian ballet teacher Andre and Isabel’s friend when the curtains on the ballet recital went up.

Ferre gives us a story steeped of old colonial aspects; the toast of the town, disparity, political upheavals, and the ultimate freedom from oppression.

Summary

Finalist for the National Book Award: A breathtaking saga from Puerto Rico’s greatest literary voice

This riveting, multigenerational epic tells the story of two families and the history of Puerto Rico through the eyes of Isabel Monfort and her husband, Quintín Mendizabal. Isabel attempts to immortalize their now-united families—and, by extension, their homeland—in a book. The tale that unfolds in her writing has layers upon layers, exploring the nature of love, marriage, family, and Puerto Rico itself.

Weaving the intimate with the expansive on a teeming stage, Ferré crafts a revealing self-portrait of a man and a woman, two fiercely independent people searching for meaning and identity. As Isabel declares: “Nothing is true, nothing is false, everything is the color of the glass you’re looking through.”

A book about freeing oneself from societal and cultural constraints, The House on the Lagoon also grapples with bigger issues of life, death, poverty, and racism. Mythological in its breadth and scope, this is a masterwork from an extraordinary storyteller.

Title: The House on the Lagoon
Author: Rosario Ferre
Genre: Historical, Cultural, Latin American Literature
Published: April 2014
Publisher: Open Road Media
Rating: ♨♨♨ (3 cups - An epic family saga rich with Latin American flavor.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Release Day: Bohemian by Kathryn Nolan

RATING/REVIEW: ☕☕☕☕ (4 cups of soothing, slow burn romance!)
Bohemian is a modern day love story about two very different people whose common love for the written word brings them together and in the end may drive them apart.  Lucia and Calvin never would have met in the same place except for the presence of The Mad Ones, an old fashioned bookstore found in the beautiful area of Big Sur.  Lucia is a supermodel, at the age of 26 what use to thrill her has been leaving her bored almost.  When a scheduled shoot in an old fashioned bookstore suddenly fans the flames of her love of reading she starts yearning for more.  Calvin inherited The Mad Ones from his beloved grandfather.  His grandfather's love of reading and his lifestyle has always brought joy to a young Calvin but he never really subscribed to that way of life.  When he meets Lucia he might have been starstruck for a bit.  What does a geeky nerd like him have in common with a beautiful woman like her.  When he finds out they …

Blog Tour: Ride With Me by Ashley Hastings: Review plus Giveaway!

RIDE WITH ME by Ashley HastingsPublication Date: April 5, 2018 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating/Review: ☕☕☕ 1/2 (3.5 cups of funny and sweet but sexy romance) Ride with Me pairs up a sexy cop and a sweet nerdy but adorable grad student who spend their time getting to know each other through a ridealong.  But first they had the most unique meet cute involving car chases!  Who can beat that?!  Lucy and Grayson may not appear to be compatible but in Ride with Me they definitely hit the right notes together. Sweet, short and funny, Ride with Me is a lighthearted read that would put a smile in any romance readers face.

BUY NOW!Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Jq6nsq(#FREE with #KindleUnlimited) Paperback: https://amzn.to/2EpsefW


SYNOPSIS:A bad boy cop and a straight-laced student are about to go on the ride of their lives… He’s the law, but she’s the one making the rules. Graduate student Lucy wants order and predictability in her life. She always has a list to consult and a plan to execute. Poli…

Review Post: Fool Me Once by Catherine Bybee

Rating/Review: ☕☕☕☕ 1/2 (4.5 cups, this romantic suspense will give new meaning to The First Wives Club)
You never know what you really would be getting when reading a Catherine Bybee book.  On the outside, each book can definitely hold its own as a great contemporary romance novel.  Read a little bit further, you get well-defined, multilayered characters and a romantic suspense in the making. Pretty soon you will be amazed on the intricate storyline balanced well with the main characters developing romance.  Fool Me Once is definitely a Catherine Bybee book.  The first in her new series, First Wives,  Fool Me Once is also a spinoff from her popular Weekday Bride series.  And yet again, Ms. Bybee delivers in her great characters, well thought out plot and melding her two series together without one overpowering the other.
The story starts out as the head of Alliance and their legal go to person, Lori try to help one of their client who unexpectedly lost her husband.  To get her away …