With her debut novel "The Time in Between," Maria Duenas garnered outstanding acclaim and inspired a TV series, dubbed the "Spanish Downton Abbey" by the media. Read more...
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With her debut novel "The Time in Between," Maria Duenas garnered outstanding acclaim and inspired a TV series, dubbed the "Spanish Downton Abbey" by the media. "USA TODAY "said of the book: "From a terrific opening line to the final page, chapters zip by at a pulsing pace." Now Duenas returns with a novel about a heartbroken woman's attempt to pick up the pieces of her shattered world.
Blanca Perea is a college professor in Madrid who seems to have it all. But her perfect career and marriage start to unravel when her husband of twenty years suddenly leaves her for another woman. Devastated, Blanca is forced to question the life she once had and how well she truly knows herself. She leaves Madrid for San Francisco, where she becomes entrenched in the history of an enigmatic Spanish writer who died decades earlier. The more Blanca discovers about this man, the more she is enthralled by the ill-fated loves, half truths, and silent ambitions that haunted his life.
With lush, imaginative prose and unforgettable characters, "The Heart Has Its Reasons "is a journey of the soul that takes readers from Spain to California, between the thorny past and all-too-real present. It is a story about the thrill of creating one's life anew.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-29
- Reviewer: Staff
Duenas’s second novel (after The Time in Between) highlights a Spanish woman’s revelations as she escapes the heartbreak of her own life by studying a countryman whose life ended too soon. In 1999 Spain, linguistics professor Blanca Perea is devastated when her husband, the father of their two grown children, has left her for a younger woman who is carrying his child. Blanca is thrilled to accept a three-month fellowship at the University of Santa Cecelia, near San Francisco. Blanca’s primary assignment is to organize and assess documents once belonging to Andres Fontanta, a fellow Spaniard and former faculty member who died in the 1960s. At Santa Cecelia, Blanca meets former professor Daniel Carter, an American who spent time in Spain and knew Andres before his death. As Blanca digs through Andres’s documents, she learns about the missions that were started by the Franciscans in America and develops a closer friendship with Daniel. But she also uncovers secrets deeper than those found in the decades-old papers. Duenas’s novel is brilliantly executed, and it moves expertly between decades as it reveals truths of history and of humanity. (Nov.)