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Mantequero by Jenny Twist
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Mantequero

by Jenny Twist

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This is actually closer to 4.5 than a 4.

I really enjoyed the following segments and queries in the story:

Have I lived the fullest life I could live? Although June is rich in education, her family makes her feel less than because she is plump and unmarried.

Daring to travel outside her comfort zone: Instead of doing the usual, June opts to take a vacation for her rather than do the expected and be the family’s scapegoat. I can relate to always being the one depended on and relied on, as if you don’t have permission to live your own life.

Flattered by the attention: The shock when someone notices you. You are so pleased when the attention is obtained, one may not think of the future, only the joy of the present. Ignacio made June feel special, and that type of joy was something June wanted more of and didn’t want to question.

Mantequero reminded me of a trained dancer: smooth and steady with pacing and action, not one moment was sluggish.

There were minimal opportunities with spacing and formatting but they did not deter me from the read.

Although I know this is part of a series, I am quite comfortable with the tidy ending of Mantequero. It is nice to read work where you don’t have to read the rest of the series to enjoy it, yet you enjoy it so much that you don’t mind going on to the rest of the series. Pace, style, and the atypical take on a creature of the night served this short read such a high rating. ( )
  NoLabelsUnleashed | May 22, 2015 |
“She was good at her job…”

…but fat. And therein lay Miss June Blacker’s problem (but also Jenny Twist’s opportunity to play with fact and fiction).

Fat, until, of course, Auntie June—traveling alone, for a change, to Spain for the holidays—meets Ignacio, putting an abrupt end to her “suffocating existence as an undervalued teacher and despised, unmarried sister.”

Ignacio is the Mantequero, the Sacamatecas (a legendary criminal who, having killed his victims, would remove their viscera in what we might assume was only a marginally clean ‘n’ neat surgical procedure), the one—again, according to Spanish legend—who “carries the bag…sucks the fat from your bones and puts it in his bag.” Oh, but the Mantequero is “just a story, a fairy tale to frighten children.” Or is it?

I’ll not give away the plotline or the ending. For any reader on a diet (or even contemplating one), my doing so would be too much of a teaser and a temptation to binge. But suffice it to say that Jenny Twist, in typically British style, has done a masterful job of turning certain facts into fiction to re-tell the story, the legend, perhaps the myth, of a supernatural being who resembles—albeit in courtly Spanish style—many an English rogue, blackguard or Ripper.

The fictional elements aside, Jenny’s About the Story (at the conclusion of her well-spun yarn) provides some interesting background to where and how the original myth might’ve originated—as well as of some of the various real-life models for her mantequero (which, quite ironic for this story, translates to “grocer”).

One final note—and a compliment to Jenny’s craft: this story is written in flawless English. In our self-publishing world, such a thing is the exception rather than the rule. I congratulate her and encourage you, a potential reader, to take a look to see just how it’s done.

RRB
11/23/13
Brooklyn, New York, USA

( )
  RussellBittner | Dec 12, 2014 |
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