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Back to the Cocktail Challenge:

MargaritaRead a book set in Mexico or Spain or with Hispanic or Spanish characters.

For this part of the challenge I decided to read a book that I wasn’t sure was a romance. And, in fact, it’s more a book of self-discovery than about a relationship between two people. The book is Francesc Miralles’ “love in lowercase” published in Spanish in 2010 and translated and published in English in 2014.

The story is sold as similar to something like The Rosie Project. And, indeed, there *are* some similarities, but it’s really more about our main character coming out of his self-imposed shell due to the smallest of changes in his life. The protagonist is Samuel de Juan, a 37 year old instructor of German literature and linguistics at a Spanish University. He lives a very self-contained life, following the same patterns every day, with few, if any, friends. One day; however, a young cat manages to worm his way into Samuel’s apt. and before you know it, Samuel is forced to interact with his neighbor, with a veterinarian, and with others around the city. And through those interactions, he stumbles upon a woman he knew when they were both children, with whom he’d been unknowingly carrying a torch all these years.

This is a quick, short read. Only 224 pages. It reminded me of a book version of a foreign film one might see at an art house theater. Parts of it were puzzling, perhaps culture-bound, but other parts offered thoughtful evaluations on life and love with frequent interjections about literature, philosophy, music, and science. More often than not things seemed to happen, leading no where. While the ending was hopeful — Samuel is probably not going to be alone anymore — it took a strange, circuitous route to get there — one I wasn’t sure was 100% believable. I would say this was a “C” read for me.


The Cocktail Challenge – 9 down, 1 to go.

Alphabet Challenge – 9 down, 1 to go. (A, B, C, G, H, J, K, M, & Q)