When author Alma Rodriguez Huebner's husband goes to the Dominican Republic to assist in an AIDS project, she remains in Vermont to try to write her novel. Eventually, she abandons it and begins the story of Isabel, the rectoress of an orphanage in 1803, and her charges, 22 boys used to carry the cowpox virus to the Spanish colonies. Julia Alvarez's writing boasts richness, poetic vision, and lyric detail, although her artfulness sometimes occurs at the expense of clarity. Even with a first-rate performance by Blanca Camacho, the multilayered novel-within-a-novel loses its way. Camacho makes the most of Alvarez's two main plots and tangled subplots, but this is a time when less would have been more. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 06]
Library Ed. Recorded Books 2006
CS ISBN cassettes
CD ISBN 9781419389160 $123.75 Fourteen CDs
DD ISBN 9781449895259 $109.00
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