Monday, 18 April 2011

'The Secret's in the Folding', Fiona Thackeray

'The Secret's in the Folding' Fiona Thackeray
All but one of the nineteen stories in this collection are set in Brazil. The title story, 'The Secret's in the Folding' describes the arrival of newcomer Dona Celestina to town, wearing ill-fitting shoes and carrying a perpetually folded parasol. Curiosity leads to the opening of the parasol by the town shop-keeper's daughter and what has been a symbol of Dona Celestina's freedom, suddenly becomes something else, exposing her to potential ridicule. However, Thackeray resists a premature ending and the story concludes tenderly after Dona Celestina's hurt has been somewhat assuaged. 'The Darling of Brazil' is the story of journalist Kramer's relationship with Brazilian celebrity Leila Camargo. Kramer is writing a biography of Leila when she has to leave Brazil 'for the crime of loving the wrong person.' My favourite story was 'The Celestine Recipe', a story about culinary alchemy that is linked to the opening story, but told from an entirely different perspective and from the other side of town. It is a satisfying story of rivalry, jealousy and ultimately friendship.
Read about Thackeray's latest visit to Brazil here.

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