Friday, October 26, 2018

Book Beginning: Cora Siré's Behold Things Beautiful

Delmira Agustini leaves her parents' house at dusk. She walks down her street to the plaza Internacional, where the drenched tips of cypress trees loom above the buildings, then turns onto Calle Andes, catching the singsong cries, ¡Diario! Diario!, of boys peddling El Día's evening edition. The street is congested with buggies and motor cars. As she steps over gutters and murky streams to avoid the jostling horses, her umbrella tips crape the stone facades of houses.
Delmira Agustini is a real Uruguayan poet from the early 1900s. I'd never heard of her. But the main events of the novel take place when Alma Alvarez goes to the fictional country of Luscano, in South America, to give a lecture on Agustini in the present day. I'm not very far in, but it looks like there will be political and romantic complications.

I'm a total sucker for romance and politics set in fictional countries, whether it be Graustark and Ruritania or Orsinia and Costaguana.

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a bookish meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. To play, quote the beginning of the book you're currently reading, give the author and title, and any thoughts if you like. ¡Hola!


  1. Fascinating cover. I can understand why a novel with a political theme might need to take place in a fictional country. Hope you enjoy it.

    1. I do like the cover as well, and yes, if it were actually set in Argentina or Uruguay, I could imagine it being a little tricky.