The house, built in the style of a classic Mediterranean villa, lies abanoned behind tangled ferns and rusted gates. Its history is one of obsession, of tragedy, of a chain of events evolving from the day Mariano Grau and his daughter, Marini, arrive in the town of Junction on the North Queensland coast. They had been driven out of Cuba and nothing has prepared them for the life that awaits them in the swaying cane fields of a primitive new country. Behind them is the loss of a huge sugar plantation and the memory of Mariano's young wife.
Now his whole life is spent in a passionate encounter with the land. He builds a simple house on stilts for himself and the child but promises that soon they will build a house like the old home in Spain, the one he remembers from his youth.
Marini, the child, grows up isolated, withdrawn. Driven by her father's vision, it is left to her to fulfil the dream. She uses not only her own life and will to feed her ambition, but also that of the weak, tormented man she marries until, finally, she discovers that at the heart of self-willed creation lie the seeds of destruction.
In a narrative of exotic imagery, Gloria Montero has drawn an unforgettable picture of a period and place of overpowering richness and beauty.
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Gloria Montero grew up in North Queensland, Australia, in a family of Spanish immigrants. In 1955 she moved to Canada where she published books and magazine articles and worked as a singer, actress, broadcaster, scriptwriter, TV interviewer and producer of radio and film documentaries. Her play, "Frida K.", based on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, was acclaimed in an off-Broadway production in 1997. She currently lives in Barcelona with her husband.From Kirkus Reviews:
A first novel with a lush Australian setting that charts the predictable rise and fall of a strong and--what else?--beautiful woman undone by love--and by a schematic plot. When Mariano Grau arrives in North Queensland, Australia, with small daughter Marini in tow, he ends a journey that began in his native Spain. In Cuba, he had grown sugar until the Yankees ousted the Spanish; then, still mourning the loss of his beautiful wife Guillermina, who died soon after Marini's birth, as well as the death of his first-born son, Mariano, he wandered the world until he reached Queensland. There, he starts to grow cane as he did in Cuba, dreams of building a fine villa, and sends Marini to the local convent school. It's in the convent that Marini, now 17, nurses a mysteriously ill Irishman, Dominic Moran, who's been rescued from Aborigine cannibals. When her father is accidentally killed, Marini decides to marry the convalescing Dominic, the idea being that he will help her fulfill her father's aspirations. Soon, Marini--a dynamo who cuts cane with the men, defies strikers by driving a locomotive, and faces down any male chauvinist who dares to question her--is rich enough to build the splendid villa her father dreamed of. She is also the mother of an adored son, Joel. Things are going too well, in fact, so of course they must fall apart: Dominic smokes opium; Marini has an affair with his brother Michael, who has moved in with them; she gives birth to handicapped Rosemary; and on the night they all celebrate Joel's coming of age, fate delivers the ultimate blow--barely credible in the context. All of which and more is explained in a bathetic ending as both Marini and her villa fade away. A not-so-familiar landscape gives Montero's story some edge but not enough. More hype than heart. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descripción Doubleday Canada, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0385256388
Descripción Doubleday Canada. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0385256388 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Nº de ref. de la librería SWATI2132238345
Descripción Doubleday Canada, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. First Printing. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0385256388