The Sad Passions

The Sad Passions The lyrical story of a Mexican family torn apart by the fragility and madness of one of its members Told by six women in one family Veronica Gonzalez Pena s The Sad Passions captures the alertness b

  • Title: The Sad Passions
  • Author: Veronica Gonzalez Peña
  • ISBN: 9781584351207
  • Page: 213
  • Format: Paperback
  • The lyrical story of a Mexican family torn apart by the fragility and madness of one of its members.Told by six women in one family, Veronica Gonzalez Pena s The Sad Passions captures the alertness, beauty, and terror of childhood lived in proximity to madness Set against the backdrop of a colonial past, spanning three generations, and shuttling from Mexico City to OaxacaThe lyrical story of a Mexican family torn apart by the fragility and madness of one of its members.Told by six women in one family, Veronica Gonzalez Pena s The Sad Passions captures the alertness, beauty, and terror of childhood lived in proximity to madness Set against the backdrop of a colonial past, spanning three generations, and shuttling from Mexico City to Oaxaca to the North Fork of Long Island to Veracruz, The Sad Passions is the lyrical story of a middle class Mexican family torn apart by the undiagnosed mental illness of Claudia, a lost child of the 1960s and the mother of four little girls.It is 1960, and the wild and impulsive sixteen year old Claudia elopes from her comfortable family home in Mexico City with Miguel, a seductive drifter who will remain her wandering husband for the next twenty years Hitchhiking across the United States with Miguel, sometimes spending the night in jails, Claudia stops sleeping and begins seeing visions Abandoned at a small clinic in Texas, she receives electroshock treatment while seven months pregnant with her first daughter Afterward, Miguel leaves her, dumb and drooling, at her mother s doorstep.Living often at her mother s home than with Miguel, Claudia will give birth to four girls But when Julia, her second daughter, is inexplicably given away to a distant relation in Los Angeles, Claudia s fragile, uncertain state comes to affect everyone around her Julia s disappearance which could symbolize the destabilizing effect of manic depression will become the organizing myth in all of the daughters unsettled lives for if one can disappear, why not all of them

    One thought on “The Sad Passions”

    1. I ate this book up. I picked this up just after My Brilliant Friend and it seemed, if not a continuation of the book, oddly resonant, though here the prism of a family story told in discrete first person voices. Four sisters, Rocia, the sweet eldest sister, Julia, the girl who is sent away at age 6 to live in the States, scrappy Marta, and Sandra, the youngest, brilliant and clear-sighted, look at their relationships to one another, to their mad mother, Claudia, and their mysterious, unpredictab [...]

    2. Easily one of the most achingly beautiful books I've ever read. It's as though Pedro Almodóvar made a film about Sylvia Plath and it was cooed out so lovingly and with so much sorrow.

    3. It's lyrical. Very poetic. But it doesn't drag. This is a story about mothers and sisters, so you see over time how it all unfolds, how the things that one says are built upon later, by another. You get to hear the same story told from five sides, and other lavish details while others bring it up in the context of a larger point. I really loved these stories, these voices. And they're all so sad. It's a very visual novel. A very meticulous, carefully painted story. It's never going to feel "clea [...]

    4. Beautiful, full of sorrow, and a book I can see myself returning to read again. There was so much in these pages. The novel is told from the perspective of six women in the same Mexican family. The prose is lyrical and the pieces of the story come together slowly (both these are reasons I can see myself re-reading; I know there is much I probably missed in this first read). Her command of language reminds me of Didion. I hope to find more writing by Pena, she's wonderful.(Side note: while I was [...]

    5. Lyrically beautiful exploration of how Madness dismembers a family. I found every voice to be unique and to play off each other well in the telling and retelling of important events in their lives. The chapters that ruminate on the meanings of art are particularly thought provoking and intelligently written. The author does a good job of showing us a Mexico City we don't normally see. This book deserves more recognition than it's getting in my humble opinion. Check it out.

    6. Written like a jigsaw puzzle, this is an incredibly astute portrait of a family twisted in the grip of bipolar disorder. It's a story where characterization overwhelms plot, and the multiple perspectives only serve to add depth to a history where truth and objectivity is often impossible. ".ese are actual girls who, though they may seem untethered at times, are fully living too, searching, investigating, playing out the game of their lives in something which resembles the early childhood theater [...]

    7. A bit of a slow start and no particularly memorable passages for me but still an enjoyable read that depicts the complications of family life when mental illness is involved.

    8. full-stop/2013/08/01/rReview by Jesse MillerIt’s not long after she marries the flighty and seductive Miguel, as they are hitchhiking back to Mexico from Kansas City, pregnant with her first child, that Claudia begins to hear voices. If we are to take her at her word, it’s Miguel’s fault; his drawing her away from the strict but comfortable home of her childhood, flirting with other women, going off mysteriously for long stretches of time, all of it leads to her breakdown. She feels her mi [...]

    9. Read about 1/2 of this. The voices of a woman and her four adult daughters give a narrative of their lives as each struggles to realize who she is, and makes sense of it all in the midst of the mother's mental illness.Interesting enough, but I kept wanting to stop because this book just wasn't quite speaking to me. I thought I'd skip ahead and read the last chapter, but where to find it? With each chapter being written by a different one of 5 persons, do I read the last 5 chapters? Oh hell, I ma [...]

    10. This book . . . It touched me in many ways: it made me remember the times I went to Jalisco by myself, when I was young, because of all the boys the author and her sisters and I met, and reminded me of the way I always felt all alone, like nobody cared for me and I could just disappear in that country and no one would ever care, or know, of always wondering why I felt like my mother didn't like me or want me, always trying to find my way. And then the mental illness, running through me and my fa [...]

    11. Liked mixing voices, swirling motion of the novel, the recollective-with-limited-scene aspect of it; Claudia stood out, Julia's art stuff interesting; don't think there's a structure to solve--was one of the premises--but lack of design or movement or formal conceit or arc, something to really latch onto, meant it failed to lift off a bit, ended up feeling < sum of its parts. Some punctuation stuff bothered me and I wish the publisher had copyedited a bit better. Real good novel, though, migh [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *