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Beautiful Maria of My Soul by Oscar Hijuelos
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Beautiful Maria of My Soul (edition 2011)

by Oscar Hijuelos (Author)

Series: The Mambo Kings (2)

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3007276,175 (3.21)13
In a part sequel and part retelling of "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," the inspiration for the Mambo King's biggest hit, Maria, now 60 years old, reminisces about her days and nights in Havana, offering a completely different perspective on the Mambo Kings' story.
Member:DanteAshton
Title:Beautiful Maria of My Soul
Authors:Oscar Hijuelos (Author)
Info:Hyperion (2011), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Collections:eBooks
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Beautiful Maria of My Soul by Oscar Hijuelos

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» See also 13 mentions

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The character of Maria first shows up in "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" as the first love of Nestor Castillo, half of the "Mambo Kings" duet. This book provides the "other side" of Maria's relationship with Nestor. Born to extreme poverty in rural Cuba, Maria travels to Havana and due to her outstanding beauty manages to become a show girl and dancer in the Havana music clubs. Through luck, perseverance, and beauty, Maria soon becomes involved with Ignacio, a shady small time gangster who nonetheless provides some stability in her life until she meets Nestor and a wild sexual romance begins. This erotic love affair ends as Maria decides she wants something better in life than life with a musician and Nestor and his brother leave for New York.

The book is a parallel story to that of "Mambo Kings" and Hijuelos himself becomes a character in the book. "Mambo Kings" comes out as a novel featuring Maria. Maria is now in the United States and her daughter from Ignancio is now a doctor. Teresita has heard her mother's constant stories about Nestor Castillo reads the book. Eventually Maria and Teresita meet the author which brings the story around full circle.

The book is another example of Hijuelos' wonderful writing. Although the sexual scenes are graphic and almost repulsive, the story itself is beautifully written. He has an amazing way of developing characters. ( )
  maryreinert | Nov 2, 2016 |
I had high expectations of this book because I thoroughly enjoyed The Mambo Kings. For some reason the sexual encounters in this book turned me off, the descriptions of Maria's lovers' sexual organs, etc. I don't know just wasn't necessary to the story. I finally stopped reading half way through. I thought the books was going to be more about the revolution and unrequited love. It really turned me off. I enjoyed Mr. Hijuelos other books, not this one. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
I had high expectations of this book because I thoroughly enjoyed The Mambo Kings. For some reason the sexual encounters in this book turned me off, the descriptions of Maria's lovers' sexual organs, etc. I don't know just wasn't necessary to the story. I finally stopped reading half way through. I thought the books was going to be more about the revolution and unrequited love. It really turned me off. I enjoyed Mr. Hijuelos other books, not this one. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It took me many, many attempts to make it all the way through this book so that I could write a review. In my opinion, it is horrible, even worse than the first book, Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. If you liked Mambo Kings, you will probably like Beautiful Maria. This is the nicest thing I can say about it. ( )
  jfetting | May 25, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Some books cry out for a sequel. Readers yearn to know what happens next in the lives of these characters they have come to know and love. Then there are books that are so perfectly self-contained that it would be a crime to try to step in the same river twice. For me, reading this sequel to The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love was much closer to the latter experience than the former, unfortunately. ( )
  rosalita | Dec 23, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oscar Hijuelosprimary authorall editionscalculated
Duran, ArmandoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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in memory of August Wilson and Guillermo Cabrera Infante
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Over forty years before, when Nestor Castillo's future love, one Maria Garcia y Cifuentes, left her beloved valle in the far west of Cuba, she could have gone to the provincial capital of Pinar del Rio, where her prospects for finding work might be as good-or bad- as in any place....
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In a part sequel and part retelling of "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," the inspiration for the Mambo King's biggest hit, Maria, now 60 years old, reminisces about her days and nights in Havana, offering a completely different perspective on the Mambo Kings' story.

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Hyperion and Voice

2 editions of this book were published by Hyperion and Voice.

Editions: 1401323340, 1401310516

 

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