I have read everything that Laura Esquivel has written.
Her novels are always filled with images and with passion, imagination and with love. While Malinche is not the best book she has written (that spot is held by Like Water for Chocolate and The Law of Love) it is still one amazing read.
Malinche, given away at an early age, finds herself the interpretor of Cortez, who does not speak the native Aztec tongue. Malinche sees Cortez as the re-embodiment of their Aztec lord and stands by his side, even when it looks as if he is intent on slaughtering the Aztec people.
After being taken over by the Mexicans, this is the last thing that Malinche wants. She believes him when he says that he has no intention to engage in the mindless slaughter of her people and a love begins to grow between the two.
A love so passionate that it threatens to blind Malinche to the truth about who Cortez really is and what he intends to do.
This novel didn’t have the flow of her other books; it felt a liiiitle stilted, as if it were trying to find its pace well into the short book. But nevertheless, it is a beautiful read.
Part novel, part commentary on life, part philosophy text book, Malinche is sure to delight with words and with a pure love that may survive all that threatens to distroy it. Most striking of all is the Codex’s included with the novel.
The Aztecs used Codexs (pictures drawn in sequence) to tell stories and one is here for us to see. Some of the pictures are scattered through out the novel to divide the chapters; but it is the books dust jacket that is the true masterpiece. If you unfold it, you will be able to follow the love story of Cortez and Malinche without words.
The art is beautiful (drawn by Esquivel’s own nephew) and is a testament to the Aztec people and a grand love affair.
Read and be enlightened.