"The Dark Bride"

The Dark Bride by Laura Restrepo: Book Cover



Book: The Dark Bride

Author: Laura Restrepo

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, reprinted in 2003

ISBN-13: 9780641911248

ISBN-10: 0641911246

Language level: I didn’t read very much, so I don’t know and frankly don’t care; it certainly isn’t fit for children

Reading level: For adults only, if anyone

Rating: 0 stars (NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

     Restrepo, Laura. The Dark Bride (published in 1999 by Harper Collins Publishers Inc., 10 E. 53rd St., New York City, NY 10022). I picked this book up on the free table at a used curriculum sale. I now think that I know why it was there. I really did not look very closely at the book then, but when I got home I wanted to know more about the author, so I went to Barnes and Noble’s website. They were falling all over themselves about how great it was that they were able to introduce this wonderful Colombian author to American audiences. If I had read the blurb on the back of the book, I probably would have left it alone.

     "Once a month, the refinery workers of the Topical Oil Company descend upon Tora, a city in the Colombian forest. They journey down from the mountains searching for earthly bliss and hoping to encounter Sayonara, the legendary Indian prostitute who rules their squalid paradise like a queen." Isabel Allende, who has written some pretty raunchy stuff herself, said, "Love, lust, despair, pride, violence, magic, and irrational hope give depth and texture to this page-turning novel."  Well, under the wishful but mistaken thinking that perhaps Sayonara’s being a prostitute was only incidental to the story, I began reading.

     I got through the first three pages and it was nothing but how the men came from the jungles to Tora for las mujeres, the women, who held the "greatest promise of earthly bliss;" how the economy of Tora depended on the oil money handed over to the putas (*****s) and prostitutas; how that when the men came to "optimal marketplace for love" the women "who charged the most" depended on how exotic and distant their national origins were, how sonorous their names, and how unusual their customs.  There may be some actual story later on, but I was not willing to wade through all that to find it. If you like reading books about "sex for hire," this is for you, but I seriously doubt that anyone who wants to follow Paul’s instructions in Philippians 4:8 about thinking on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, and praiseworthy would find anything worthwhile in this book.

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