Gabriel García Márquez is my favourite author. He captures love, mystery, magic, and faith in a way no one else can. This is a novella about a 12 year-old girl, Sierva Maria who contracts rabies but is believed to be a ‘miracle-worker’, with long flowing copper hair that continues to grow after death. Her hair is a symbol of innocence and purity, of a kind of love that one may never experience. When she is suspected to have contracted rabies, she is sent to a convent to be exorcised. However, through an unfortunate turn of events, the priest, a young Cayetano Delaura falls madly in love with her. From the warden of her cell to the slave women whose traditions she is familiar with, everyone is charmed by her. But love to the point of insanity proves to be the biggest demon of all, for her and she has to battle against them all. It is the story of an unrelenting world and of an impossible love. This book takes not more than three hours for a fairly fast reader but the emptiness that follows lingers on for decades. However, for the uninitiated to Marquez, this is not a good book to start with. The one that is, is for another post.
Quote: This was when she asked him whether it was true that love conquered all, as the songs said. ‘It is true’, he replied, ‘but you would do well not to believe it.’