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Friday, 23 September 2016

The Brazillian Husband by Rebecca Powell

The Brazilian Husband

Book description

SUNSHINE, SAMBA, SECRETS AND LIES - this summer’s must-read.

“…scrawled in biro, the words which had brought me here…

‘Take me home’.”

Determined to honor her late husband’s final request, Judith and her teenage step-daughter, Rosa, set out on a journey from London to Brazil to track down his family and take his ashes home.

But when Judith’s search leads her to Ricardo, a handsome but haunted human rights lawyer, she begins to unravel a web of lies surrounding her husband’s past: a past which is about to come crashing into their present in the form of Rosa’s real mother.

As the two women navigate their way through this vibrant country of contrasts, they find themselves struggling to salvage their own fractured relationship and put the past behind them.

The perfect blend of romance and suspense, set against the stunning backdrop of northeast Brazil, The Brazilian Husband is a story of friendship, family and finding out who we really are.

The perfect page-turner to get you in the mood for the Rio Olympics...

My Review of The Brazilian Husband
I love to read and to escape to other worlds and this book did exactly that. While reading I was transported to Brazil. I could smell the air, see the people and I completely immersed myself in their culture. It was fairly obvious from reading this fantastic story that the author knew Brazil well. The way in which she writes is from the heart; she knows what she is talking about, both as a woman who has lived in the country, and as a woman who has worked in a shelter supporting women. This oozes from every pore of every page.

For me this book worked on many levels. Firstly we have Brazil. I fell in love with Brazil and now want to go there. As a young girl I would very often pick up a random travel book from the library and devour it from cover to cover, I sometimes still do. Even though this book is obviously a work of literary fiction, it introduced me to the world of Brazil in which a travel book could never do.

Secondly we have the central theme of family and motherhood. What it means to be a mother, to have a family, to love, to nurture. We follow Judith's story of how she deals with the loss of her beloved Edson and we learn how unconventional their marriage was. But what is the modern family? How do we quantify what a 'normal' family is? These are the questions that we are left pondering and which I found totally refreshing for the 21st Century. We then also have the flip side of what it means to be a daughter in an unconventional family, as we read Rosa's thoughts as she shares her feelings. This I found very insightful and it added a new dimension to the storytelling, helping to enrich Judith's character.
Although very much dominated by the female voice, we have a strong male presence in the book in the form of Ricardo, the man who runs a shelter for children and who helps Judith to bridge the gap between the past and present.  I am also not ashamed to say that I fell secretly in love with him.

Throughout the book all of the central characters go on a journey to find out who they really are and who they are meant to be in life. This is something that we all struggle with at times. But for me the real joy of this book was that of watching Judith and Rosa's journey together. I was allowed into their world, and what a privilege it was to share the ups and downs with them.

This is a remarkable debut novel by a talented and empathic writer. I look forward to reading more by Rebecca Powell.

I received a review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


Rebecca Powell was born in Bristol.  She has a degree in French and Portuguese from the University of Leeds and in her early twenties she worked for a year at a women's shelter in the northeast of Brazil, before moving to London, where she continued to work for a number of national charities.  She now lives in the South West of France with her husband and three children.  Rebecca is the sister of award-winning novelist Gareth L Powell (Ack-Ack Macaque; The Recollection) and children's author Huw Powell (Spacejackers).

The Brazilian Husband is available in paperback and kindle from Amazon here


1 comment:

  1. This has been a hit with several friends of mine, good to see it here.