Once again, I haven't much to say about the following books. Both were picked by me the last time I went to the library, only because they would fit themes in the challenge I'm doing for one of my reading groups.
I've read both in Portuguese and was positively surprised with the two of them, for different reasons.
Ladies of Spain is a small summary about the four main women who are part of the Spanish royal house. I confess I don't have much interest in them or in royals, besides the most superficial gossip we read in the media once in a while but this was a small book and I thought "why not". The book is written by Andrew Morton, who became famous for his part in the biography of Diana of Wales, after her divorce from Prince Charles. I found the text easy, fluid, informative enough for what this book aimed for and I was especially taken by the fact the author includes a lot of world events to use as context for some of the women's key moments. I had forgotten about so many of these things and it was nice to think of them chronically as the women went on with their lives, both private and public. I wouldn't say this is a comprehensive work and the author's voice is certainly noticeable but I actually spent a good time turning the pages and that makes this a successful read for me.
Anatomia dos Mártires is a book by a Portuguese author, which could be literally translated into "anatomy of martyrs". Basically, this is the story of an unidentified reporter who, just as the 2008/2009 crises hit Europe, was investigating the suicide of a man who had religious beliefs and also the case of the Portuguese Catarina Eufémia, a woman who was killed in 1954 while demanding rights and a police officer shot her three times. During the Portuguese dictatorship (1933-1974), only the Portuguese Communist Party worked as a clandestine party to inform people and give them fortitude to believe one day the country could be free, therefore the death of Catarina was immediately linked to the fight for freedom by a people who wanted rights and the means to eat. These two cases are made to have common details, namely the fact both were seen as martyrs for their causes. But what does it mean to create or identify a martyr?
This was the first book I read by this author and while I had a good time going through the several steps of the novel while the author debated philosophy and psychology and other issues related to what is a martyr, how can one be labeled as such by others, I think the style was a bit too loose and lacking proper structure. Meaning, I could appreciate the rambling and the constant ideas discussed, but in terms of plot, it was a bit too confusing.
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