Author: Miguel Sousa Tavares
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO
this is my 6th book for the year
Here is what Amazon said about the book (I KNOW - being lazy - but I am in the middle of moving and I just don't have time to blog like I want)
It is 1905 and Luis Bernardo Valenca, a thirty-seven-year-old bachelor and owner of a small shipping company, is reveling in Lisbon's luxurious high society. But his life is turned upside down when King Dom Carlos invites him to become governor or Portugal's smallest colony, the island of Sao Tome e Principe. Luis Bernardo is ill-prepared for the challenges of plantation life - used to a softer urban existence, he is shocked by the conditions under which the workers labour.
But with the English closing in on Sao Tome's cocoa plantations, the island's main means of survival, Luis Bernardo must endeavour to protect the island and its community.
This was a fair book. I know this says it is Portugal's smallest colony, but it is its own country - off the border of Africa. There is a nice mix of politics, romance, and conflict. It also is full of history of Sao Tome intermixed with historical fiction that fulfilled my need of wanted to actually learn about the country itself. It is an intense read - very wordy. Women are painted as women probably were in 1905 - more like objects to be admired than actual people. Although it could also be argued that the author has a lower opinion of women and didn't feel like developing any further than what he did. Hard to say
Look - this is a book that takes place on a tiny island. I was grateful to find something to read that had any substance that wasn't a text book about this country, so I am keeping it for now.