Book Review: "Ebba And The Green Dresses Of Olivia Gomez In A Time Of Conflict And War"
In her debut novel, Academy Award winning screenwriter, Joan Tewkesbury, has created a mythical and wondrous world, one where preconceived notions of reality are thrown out the window.
"Ebba and the Green Dresses of Olivia Gomez in a Time of Conflict and War" is at its heart a coming-of-age story where an orphaned young girl must find her place in a corrupt, military-ruled town set somewhere in South America. With no one to lead the way, stubborn and defiant Ebba goes against the entire world in her journey to survive the bizarre and incomprehensible town she was born into.
In the novel, elements of spirituality and fantasy mix and mingle with reality; it is a book that is entirely defined by the Latin American magical realism genre where authors Miguel de Cervantes and Gabriel Garcia Marquez come to mind.
Tewkesbury weaves together several storylines with surprising confidence and a unique narrative freedom. All the stories are told within many vignettes that run no longer than a few pages each, each with a style that is raw and lyrical.
Her prose flows from character to character; it is an unflinching and tender look at the life of a beleaguered, dusty town under the thumb of a military tyrant. Touches of romance, epic battles, sweeping envy and betrayal only highlight the melting pot of genres and themes that this inventive little novel has to offer.
Readers are swept along the tumultuous story so breathlessly that reaching the end of the novel brings both a mental sigh of relief and a bittersweet feeling that such a fantastical story is over. While the structure and style may not appeal to all, it is undeniable that Tewkesbury has created an unforgettable novel that will remain with readers long after they have turned the last page.
Reach reporter Alexa Velasquez here
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