I told you I was moving quickly, and I wasn’t kidding. Now I’m in Mexico for a novella by one of my new favorite authors, Carlos Fuentes, who died earlier this month. Here is my Goodreads review. But don’t unpack, since I’m already off to Paris.
I loved The Death of Artemio Cruz when I read it last year, so I was deeply saddened reading of Carlos Fuentes‘s recent death. Today I went out and grabbed this little gem to read more of his work. Aura is a little bit of a Gothic mystery, a little bit of a romance, and completely engaging. An unemployed historian reads a help wanted ad that seems written especially for him. He presents himself for the interview at an eerie old house in the city’s center and learns that he is to edit the memoirs of the late husband of an elderly widow. He learns that he will be required to live in the house, and also discovers that there is a beautiful niece living there with them. However as he settles in to his work, he notices small oddities–an extra place set at the table, an odd connection between the elderly widow and her niece Aura. Fuentes draws the reader smoothly into this strange tale as it works quickly toward it’s climax.
This edition of the book would be marvelous for someone studying Spanish, as the English and Spanish texts of the novella are on opposite pages.