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richardderus

Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands - Jorge Amado, Harriet de Onís Rating: five enchanted stars of fiveSo, as I've explained on my profile over at LibraryThing, I've been in a book circle in RL for 17 years, and I posted our group reading list with my one-line assessments of the books. Most of those books I read long long long before I knew about LT or GoodReads, and so I've either never reviewed them or reviewed them for the long-vanished book blog.Whatthehell, I figured, I should go back and glance over the list, maybe write some reviews of those oldsters.So that's what I'm a-gonna do.BkC1) DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS by Jorge Amado: Adored it! Ghosts get horny, too, and why not?I stand by the one-liner. It's a wonderful book, so it deserves a real appreciation.The Book Report: Flor and Vadinho are as happy as two opposites can be in a marriage. Their relationship doesn't make sense to any of Flor's stuffy, social-climbing family (really, whose relationship makes sense to the family?), as Vadinho spends and cheats and generally makes a spectacle of himself in dreary 1940s Bahia (provincial Brazilian city, think Baltimore or Philadelphia). Especially the day he drops dead in a Carnival street dance.Flor grieves for him, but life goes on, and the aforementioned stuffy family won't tolerate a single woman in her prime to be left in peace. So Flor marries Babbitt. Oh dear, I mean Teodoro (which is Brazilian for Babbitt). He's not a lot of fun, but he's thoughtful, and gentle, and considerate of her feelings, and a BIG FAT BORE especially in bed. Flor settles in for a life of having settled. So many people of both genders and all persuasions can relate to this.Then...then...Vadinho's horny ghost shows up! Moral crisis: Is it cheating on your husband to sleep with your dead husband? Is this a serious question? To Flor it is, and to be frank, I was so bought in at that point that I took it seriously too.My Review: Written in 1966, this novel felt as fresh as yesterday to me when I read it in the 1990s. It is subtle and grotesque and sly and, in the end, it's the way a real person is: Conflicted. Is the story in Flor's mind, a desperately bored woman's attempt to recapture some small sense of joy in life, or is Vadinho real?I don't exactly know, even yet. But you know what? Don't matter one little speck. I believe Flor. She woould never lie to me.Amado was that good. Recommended, ESPECIALLY for married people of all persuasions.