Euridice is young, beautiful and ambitious, but when her rebellious sister Guida elopes, she sets her own aspirations aside and vows to settle down as a model wife and daughter. And yet as her husband's professional success grows, so does Euridice's feeling of restlessness. She embarks on a series of secret projects - from creating recipe books to becoming the most sought-after seamstress in town - but each is doomed to failure. Her tradition-loving husband is not interested in an independent wife. And then one day Guida appears at the door with her young son and a terrible story of hardship and abandonment. The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is a wildly inventive, wickedly funny and keenly observed tale of two sisters who, surrounded by a cast of unforgettable characters, assert their independence and courageously carve a path of their own in 1940s Rio de Janeiro. A deeply human and truly unforgettable novel from one of the most exciting new voices in world literature.
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is a humorous and quirky novel. What originally caught my attention was the gorgeous cover. Being Dominican-American I am familiar with “rolos” aka hair rollers. This is Batalha’s first novel (translated by Eric M.B. Becker) and I dig her unique anecdotes and wry humor. Sisters, Euridice and Guida are beautiful, intelligent, and rebellious (my kind of gals). I fell in love with Euridice and found myself cheering for her throughout the novel. You see, although Euridice is a housewife in Brazil in the 1940’s, she is also a genius full of tremendous capabilities. She feels bored and dissatisfied being a housewife and yearns to do so much more! And whatever Euridice puts her mind to, she conquers. Sadly, Euridice’s aspirations are not deemed important by her husband, Antenor. As the sole provider, Antenor demands Euridice to raise their two kids, and take care of the family (period). However, Euridice pays him no mind and this is where the adventure begins. She becomes a master chef, then a seamstress, and finally a writer (with lots happening in between). I absolutely recommend this charming, quirky, witty novel. I look forward to additional stories by this innovative and unique author. I’m in luck because according to her website she’s currently working on her second novel. WOOHOO 🙂
Thanks to Edelweiss and ONEWorld Publications for providing an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review. Another book I added to my personal library. 🙂