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Fiesta of Smoke by Suzan Still

Fiesta of Smoke

by Suzan Still

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Fiesta of Smoke is one of those novels that you just get lost in. This is historical fiction that both centers on Mexico and its political history, as well as a love story between two people that spans decades.

It took me a few pages to get to know Hill, Calypso and Javier, because the story goes from present time to the past as we see things through the eyes of these characters. Calypso is a writer who fell in love with Javier Carteña while in her late teens. Javier winds up being a commander in the Mexican forces. Hill is a reporter who is out to find out what happened to Calypso.

Author Suzan Still does a wonderful job at writing a novel that just flows and draws the reader in. There's plenty going on here, with characters that jump off the pages as the story is told. These characters are multi-faceted, they are flawed, they seem real. At first I didn't like Javier, then he grew on me as the story unfolded. I wanted to know more about Calypso and the interesting life she lead. The plot goes from Berkeley to Mexico City to Paris and back around again. The multi layered plot reveals stories within stories, like the story of Achille and Cristobal de Castellanos.

Upon reading the afterword, I learned that it took the author nearly three decades to write her novel. Hill's research and love of the history of Mexico shine through in her work. I felt like I was there as Calypso is arrested for protesting and thrown in prison. I felt for her and what she went through. My heart raced as I read what she endured. I could visualize Calypso and Javier clearly as their love developed and their passion for politics ran deep. These two talked about a revolution, about bringing equality to the people. The love story here just added to the passion and excitement. I also loved how the start of the story, winds up wrapping up with the ending. It connects nicely. I can see this story playing out on the big screen, if done right.

I found Fiesta of Smoke to be a well written novel full of passion and history, with a bit of mystery and romance added in. I recommend this one to readers who enjoy diving into a good book and living within its pages for a while.

disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers and authors, such as this one, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My review copy was courtesy of TLC Book Tours. ( )
  bookworm_naida | Oct 20, 2013 |
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Against a backdrop of rebellion and intrigue, love between Javier Carte?a, commander of insurgent Mexican forces, and Calypso Searcy, an American novelist at the pinnacle of her career, sizzles with passion across a broad sweep of history. Encompassing time from the Conquest of the 1500s to the present, the story races across space as well, from the forests of Chiapas to the city of Paris. There, an international investigative reporter named Hill picks up the swiftly vanishing trail of Calypso's disappearance, and unwittingly becomes involved in one of the great dramas of the twentieth century and one of the great love stories of any age.… (more)

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