WHITE SHORE OF OLINDA by Sylvia Carneiro Leao


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I loved this -- but I don't think it is going to be an easy book to sell. It has a quality of over-simplification that robs the emotional quality of the passion that would give the book more substance. But it has the fascination of its etched beauty -- a beauty of line rather than color. The setting is a village on the northern coast of Brazil; the people are fishermen and villagers, with an orphaned lace maker, made bitter by her scarred face and the buffets of fortune, and a lusty fisherman, who lays his love and hopes at her feet. Their marriage would be an ideal one if both had not feared that the wife could bear her man no son. But both learn that in their love, and its expression, there is a bond that does not wholly need a child. Then into this Eden comes the serpent, a cruel and reckless girl who loves him and would take him from his wife. And there comes a sad weakling, a post, to whom Marilia can give a glean of hope to cling to life. Gervasio comes close to wrecking all, when his trust is not enough. The child is lost -- but the couple are given a second chance. And sheer goodness triumphs. Beautifully told -- and with a spiritual quality in the simple recounting of the part the good old priest plays in both their lives. Easier of acceptance by our public than most Latin-American novels.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1943
Publisher: Vanguard