BLUE FLOWERS by Carola Saavedra


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A recently divorced man begins receiving letters from an anonymous woman.

“My darling,” begins the letter that opens Saavedra’s slim novel and all the letters that follow. One morning, Marcos, a newly divorced father, discovers a light blue envelope tucked inside his mailbox. Even though it’s addressed to someone else, Marcos opens the letter and discovers a love letter signed by A. The rest of the novel alternates between the daily letters from A. and Marcos' perspective. Marcos constantly feels like an outsider who is unable to understand (or be understood by) the women in his life. One morning, while watching his ex-wife and daughter leave for a visit with the girl’s grandmother, he thinks: “A kind of female clan, with a matriarchal lineage, a bond that united them and made them mysterious, inaccessible—he just stood there, forever excluded from their pact.” In A.’s first letter, she writes, “I remember, and I’m remembering again now.” The letters remember and relive the last days and moments of the doomed relationship in detail. Steeped in eroticism and violence, A.’s letters slowly reveal the shocking events that finally destroyed her relationship. As the letters become increasingly disturbing, Marcos falls deeper under their (and her) spell. While Saavedra’s sparse writing style may be polarizing, the novel’s themes reward rereading—particularly the refrains that echo in both Marcos’ thoughts and A.’s letters. Late in the book, Marcos—who has been struggling with insomnia—begins to remember painful moments from his marriage: “remembering only halfway, there was always something missing, memory just a nagging question.” Unfortunately, the abrupt ending leaves readers with more than a few nagging questions of their own.

A sparse novel about desire, abuse, and gender.

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-59463-175-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019


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