This brief but unfortunately prolix novel, the Nicaraguan-born Aguilar's first US publication, examines the European...

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THE LOST CHRONICLES OF THE TERRA FIRMA

This brief but unfortunately prolix novel, the Nicaraguan-born Aguilar's first US publication, examines the European conquest of Latin America in the 16th century through the narratives of six women--Spanish, native Indian, and mestiza--variously affected by their relationships with the men who appropriated and ruled this paradisiacal ""terra firma."" A further dimension emerges in ""Interludes"" describing the affair between two contemporary journalists, a man covering the Nicaraguan national elections (in which the Sandinista government is rejected) and a woman who's researching a book about her spiritual ""ancestors""--for which the aforementioned six narratives are core material. Aguilar's presentation of the unfamiliar feminine perspective on conquest and social transformation seems initially promising, but the women she has imagined lead lives and express emotions that are not sufficiently distinguished from one another to make us feel significant empathy with them. The novel has some minimal historical interest, but almost no human interest.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 192

Publisher: White Pine

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996