STOWAWAY by Carol Córdoba


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 C¢rdoba is a middle-aged schoolteacher with a mission: to justify her relationship with a convicted drug smuggler from Colombia who is half her age. The result is a terrible piece of advocacy. Not only do readers come away from the book certain that Nicol†s C¢rdoba is guilty of smuggling, they also doubt Nicol†s's character, the author's judgment, and every word she utters on her true love's behalf. C¢rdoba, a 24-year-old Colombian, stowed away in the rudder trunk of an oil tanker in order to get to America and make a better life for himself. Although he found four bags of what he assumed was cocaine stashed in the compartment with him, he decided to risk the trip. But when the ship arrived in New York, Nicol†s was discovered with what turned out to be about 185 kilograms of cocaine and was arrested. He was convicted of smuggling and sentenced to ten years in prison, where he met ``Miss Carol,'' a 51-year-old, divorced, Jewish mother of three who was teaching English to the prison inmates. Although they never had more than a few minutes alone together, they fell in love. When Nicol†s was transferred to another prison in Florida, Miss Carol left her job and followed him there. They married and now wait until they can finally be together--perhaps in Colombia, as Nicol†s is due to be deported on his release. If this seems an unlikely love story in synopsis, it is even less compelling when rendered in C¢rdoba's clichÇ-ridden and obviously biased prose, her narrative filled with many inconsistencies and unexplained events.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-55885-166-6
Page count: 284pp
Publisher: Arte Público
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1996