VERACRUZ by Rosalind Wright


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Wright's first book in 11 years--following Rocking, 1975, a ""serious"" fiction published when the author was in her early 20s--is an equally serious historical novel set in Veracruz, Mexico, between the blood-soaked years of 1911-1914. We open with two small Mexican boys playing as, nearby, President Francisco Madero is inaugurated; when the novel comes full circle we return to the boys, still playing, as American soldiers invade following Madero's assassination. We meet Beatrice Ramsay, an Americana whose husband runs a coffee plantation; Limbano Cox, part-American, who precisely resembles (and had a mystical communion with) President Madero; and, last, Ilene Rabin, a free-spirited medium. The three characters--and their families, lovers, and friends--intertwine with one another and with historical figures as the novel weaves on. Beatrice Ramsay's sister, Lucy, comes to stay, falls in love, becomes pregnant, and has the child out of wedlock when her lover flees the country for being on the wrong revolutionary side. Beatrice suffers over a dead son and reaches him through the medium Ilene, who has become Limbano Cox's lover. The Ramseys leave Mexico in the latest upheaval, but sister Lucy stays and is befriended by a handsome companion, her ex-lover who seems slated to become her current one. Americans invade as the novel ends. Denser, and perhaps both slower and more elusive than popular mass-market pulp, this should still offer moderate satisfaction to the bodice-ripper set while pleasing the more serious reader. Overall: impressive.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1986
Publisher: Harper & Row