I think that being written in first person adds intrigue to the plot. I had a few things figured out by the halfway point but was blown away by some points.
The more I understood Eva’s twisted and highly self centered view of the predicament her husband was in, the more I disliked her. How could she make herself the victim, immediately believing that her husband was guilty of infidelity and murder without even hearing his side? This was a man she supposedly loved for over a decade, the loving father of her two children. Then when she had the opportunity she hopped into bed with Sammy her ex lover and never gave the fact that she was being unfaithful to her husband while he wasted away in jail a second… Read more »
I agree completely. I wanted to choke Eva honestly. I guess that means I was invested in the story right?
YES YES YES. I really disliked her. She reminded me of narrator of “The Girl on the Train.” When narrators blackout, you wonder how reliable their narrating is. I felt so badly for those kids.
Yes! Exactly girl on the train. This unreliable female narrator because of mental health and/or substance abuse is almost a trope isn’t it? I mean, I liked the book but I was a little irritated with the removal of agency to drive the story
I felt the same way! I was so disappointed in her, but I think we were supposed to. When we met Sam, I am mediately had a gross feeling about him. I didn’t know he was the murderer, I just thought he was kind of a yucky person. Especially compared to her husband, who seem to think the world of Eva. I was really surprised That after everything he was fine with going back with her. Did she not tell him? Did he just forgive her? She never did open those letters that he sent to her. Also, she kept… Read more »
This exactly. How did her husband forgive her – for accusing him of adultery, her of murdering Cecilia, and her own adultery? I wish the epilogue said more here.
Also, I wish there was more about how Sammy met Cecilia – it seems a very nice bow.
I hear you. I’m not quite done with the audiobook version and I keep waiting to find my empathy for Eva. Empathy was there in the beginning, but the longer the book goes on, the less sympathetic I feel toward Eva. It’s difficult to know whether her self-absorbed behavior is rooted in PTSD mental illness or in alcohol abuse and bad choices. It’s hard to accept how little she considers the feelings of her children, especially since she was motherless herself. Her lack of appreciation for her sister, who is doing EVERYTHING for the family, is irritating. I haven’t experienced… Read more »
I disagree. I feel sorry for her. Traumatized in infanthood, growing up thinking that she killed her mother as she was born, then what happened to Karma( I have not finished the book so I do not know what happens) and then she find naked pictures of her best friend in her husband´s car, what else could she thin? But…. it is always good to hear other´s opinions. Regardless, I love this book, can wait to see what develops.
Now that I have read more, I must say I do dislike Eva. It is ok if she needs to get comfort from Samuel and have sex with him, I understand that, BUT in her home? with her children around? What kind of mother does that? Samuel had a room in a hotel, they could have gone there, but she moved him in!! After Ximena finds them naked in her bedroom, how could she face her? She has no shame, no morals……..herself is all she cares about!! And I felt so sorry for her before. Regardless I can wait to… Read more »
I have to agree. I was disappointed with her first “slip up” with Sammy but then she didn’t even try to hide it from her children or Alma. Then she just let him basically move on in. No shame, no remorse, no nothing. Any sympathy I may have felt for her to begin with was lost.
I was questioning her actions and memories right with her!
The visceral descriptions of Eva’s emotions made an impact, I could identify with the intensity, honesty and accuracy of her experiences. That made the story so engaging and personal.
I appreciated how memories were relied upon and questioned.
I really enjoyed the way Eva was such a critical listener to all the voices of culture, relationships and experience gave to her! In the end I felt validated and encouraged to continue developing as a human/woman and maintain an inner strength.
Did the writer purposefully create a protagonist the reader is supposed to dislike? Or was the writer unconscious that she was creating a character that most readers couldn’t respect or relate to?
It’s an interesting question. Until reading this thread I thought I was the only one who didn’t respect her decisions regarding her children. But clearly not!
I did not think Eva sounded unreliable as a narrator. To me she always seemed lost and manipulated, caught up in magic she did not fully understand. A lost soul picking and choosing pieces of things that fit her feelings and needs.
Why can’t we get a woman who isn’t questioning her mental faculties. Every time I read one of these stories with this plot and POV the women are portrayed as if they are questioning their reality. For me this story was slow and was very descriptive. A bit too much which bogged the storyline down. At times I felt like I was going around in circles. And when Sammy came in the picture, the storyline progressed forward.
I thought it was a bit unrealistic to be in bed with Sammy at her house with her kids around.
I appreciated the close, first-person point of view. As a privileged white man, I was given the opportunity to understand and empathize with a Latino woman who lost her mother at an early age and suffered from mental health and substance abuse. Her faulty thinking was the result of her the problems she experienced. Yes, I was disappointed when she slept with Sammy. I held Sammy not Eva responsible. Watching Eva see reality kept me reading River Woman River Demon. I stayed up until 12:30 AM finishing the book. I just could not put it down.
I felt confused at times with Eva’s behavior but she had been through a lot since she was younger.