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 Frankly autobiographical short novel about Molina's doomed youthful affair with Mexican poet JosÇ Carlos Becerra. Molina opens with brief diary entries from 10 November 1969 (``I meet JosÇ Carlos Becerra....'') through 27 May 1970, when Becerra dies in a car accident at the age of 33. The novel that follows fills in their story in greater detail while retaining the immediacy of a journal. Molina is 23, living in London with her demanding, claustrophobically protective aunt, when she meets established poet Becerra at the home of friends. By their second meeting, he is already insisting that she spend the night. A good girl from an upper-middle-class family with a strict moral code, Molina flees, but soon they are seeing each other over her aunt's objections. Molina nervously visits a clinic for birth control (``Here these things are normal, not like it is in Mexico,'' a friend reassures her; indeed when the nurse hears what she's come for, she replies, ``Oh, good for you!''). Meanwhile, Becerra continues to badger her about her middle-class morality; infatuated but insecure, uncertain what he really feels for her, Molina breaks free of her aunt and is making plans to join her lover in Italy when she gets word of his death. Unlikely to have the same reception here as in Mexico--after its 1977 publication, the novel stirred controversy and won a major literary prize--but Molina's unadorned account of the exhilaration and terror of a first passion that seems as much about independence as about love may speak to young (and/or nostalgic) women.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-917635-14-0
Page count: 116pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993