Octavio is an illiterate man who is ashamed of the fact that he cannot read. When he meets a wealthy woman named Venezuela at a pharmacy, she agrees to teach him how to read. Octavio is overjoyed with his new skill, but unbeknownst to Venezuela, Octavio has a secret life that will affect their friendship. Once he has to leave his village, he roams the forests and jungles transforming himself and his life before deciding it is safe to return home.
This book didn't grab me in the way I had expected that it would. While it isn't very long, it felt like it went on too long. I liked the beginning and the end, but the middle of the story seemed to ramble along without adding a lot of substance. The writing was, however, at times quite magical. It was descriptive in a way that felt tropical and emotional, yet I felt it lacked something to keep me connected and hooked to the middle of the tale. The transformation of the main character that took place at the end of the story made it worth reading, but it wasn't the unforgettable, bewitching tale I was hoping it would be.
This review was originally written for and published by City Book Review.