Sunday, April 15, 2007

Books IV...

EQUADOR is an historical novel written by Miguel Sousa Tavares
It is a book for those that are interested in Portuguese History, in general, and for the History of the former Portuguese colonies in Africa, as it depicts portuguese society in the beginning of the XX century, and it reveals the world of slave work in the colonies, at a time when it had already been prohibited by law.
The story takes place between December 1905 and January 1908. The novel's main character, Luís Bernardo Valença, is a single individual, dandy in his habits and tastes that is invited by the king, D. Carlos, to be the General Governor of S. Tomé e Príncipe. His main mission has the objective to convince the English public opinion, and the British council in the island, in particular, that the prosperity of the colony had nothing to do with slave work, but instead was the result of a workforce that came from Angola, and that those people were fairly treated by the plantation owners.

Luís Bernardo Valença couldn't even imagine what the future would be like.
He didn't know that his easy life in the cosmopolitan society in Lisbon, was going to be exchanged by the defense of the good name of Portugal, and at the same time the defense of the rights of the workers in the plantations, causing a series of interest conflicts with the Portuguese government. And he didn't know that the discovery of love was going to change his life.
This is a fantastic, disturbing and moving story.
Five hundred pages that travel in time, history and feelings, all in one.


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