Saturday, April 23, 2011

Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman

This is a most beautiful book that is loving, lyrical, shrouded in a fog of despair and yet with hope bursting through at the end.  It is honest, challenging, a portrait of a time, a place and a love so overwhelmingly encompassing that it is actually breathtaking.  I read it in two bites.  I simply had to stop half way as the intensity of the writing ,the almost magical bursts of stucco were quite overwhelming.
Goldman a journalist and a novelist of some repute considered himself to have been unlucky at the game of love until he met the beautiful, talented, witty and captivating Aura Estrada, young than he but with a zest for life that so bubbled over that it took Francisco for the ride of his life, a ride that ended in devastating tragedy. A much loved and over protected daughter, a writer,a student, a whimsical creature of many shades Aura`s true love was Francisco, through every bump, every joy that love grew and Francisco himself grew and changed alongside Aura no matter the challenges that growth brought.
Goldman's descriptive narrative never uses five words when two will do,the words are fairly magical and star like in the way the burst across the page, the every day life is so descriptive that you could be walking the streets of Brooklyn with them,sitting beside them in the cafes,sharing a book or two, riding the subway, traversing the beaches and the waves and you would not have to have actually walked those streets to feel right at home, the book has a rare warmth and a very rare kind of love seeping through every page.Goldman's capacity to understand Aura in her youngness is amazing as is his ability to throw caution to the wind and walk alongside her youth and be infused by it.
His guilt, his pain, his sense of loss make this a somewhat gritty book in places but it is not a pity party,it is a testimony to the power of love, to the magic of words and to the life of Aura Goldman, a life that any reader will be richer for the reading of it.

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