The novel tells the story of Manuela Saenz, the mistress and lover of Simon Bolivar. Bolivar is one of the most interesting historical figures and he was a complicated man who life was punctuated by loss: by the time he was 20, he'd lost his mother, his father, and his wife yet he still was able to maintain (later in his life) a passionate affair with Saenz, a woman who was both his saviour and his doom.
The book isn't great but it's good, a fast-paced story which isn't easy when tracing the arc of a character's life. The passion is a bit overwrought in places and I don't quite buy Saenz's absolute devotion to Bolivar or to his cause, but there is a sense of true entitlement that she has which feels genuine, particularly in her complex relationship with her slaves.
Also makes me wish I could get my hand on a good biography of Bolivar: there are a number of them out there.
Curious to read other works by Jaime Manrique.
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