Kirstan Hawkins: Doña Nicanoras Hat Shop

Al these remote village dwelling people are They are nothing like the dirty uneducated peasants that urbanites accuse them of being Nor are they the oppressed yearning for another revolution as romanticised by the People s Liberation Front Do a Nicanora s Hat Shop is a delicious rib tickling wistful romp of a novel that cheered me up while the incessant rain was busy ruining my summer break The colourful villagers touched me with their antics and were a gentle reminder of how life is always precious no matter who we are and where we live Set in a small out of the way village called Villa de la Virgen within the swamps of South America this story of Dona Niconora and her fellow villagers ngages the reader from the very first pageDona Niconora has many unfulfilled dreams in life Her life has been full of mistakes and regrets and she now lives a dreary and uneentful life with her children and no husband Niconor s greatest wish is to own a hat shop full of beautiful feathered beaded and seuinned hats the likes of which are never seen in the villageKirstan Hawkin s writing is delicious in Passage Through Crisis every way and a real treat to read Every character is described beautifully and the reader feels as though they too have lived in the village and amongst the people for years and yearsWhen not one but two new faces come to live in the village so starts a stream ofvents that change life in the village for Science, Technology and Culture everEssentially a love story and often poignant there are some wonderfully comic moments during the story with some stunning one liners from characters such as Gloria and RomanThis is anxcellent debut novel Very original uirky a little different but heart warming with a real feel good factor I see other reviewers have likened this to the work of Alexander McCall Smith and I get that but for me it didn t uite deliver on the charm I LOVE this book Such a wonderful blend of intelligent observation humour and just a little touch of magic It s beautiful Be taken into another world where sharp distilled and focused writing co Each year the members of my bookgroup select two titles. Le what she needs is the love of a good man and a shop full of her own beautifully handcrafted hats But Nicanora's life is never uite straightforward And from the day an ntirely silent stranger arriv.

Very good read Great sense of place and characters Slow start but really strong finish Just the right amount of magic realism This book has so many great characters the doctor in his brand new clinic with no patients the hippie gringo standing on his head in the village suare the lderly village me I have no idea how a book this bad came to be published It was disjointed confusing and so much thrown in that should have been cut out I actually threw this book in the garbage after I read it I read it because it was on a pile of books I d been given that I was determined to get through Should have received a medal for getting through this one This review was originally posted on my blogValle de la Virgen is a uaint little town in the middle of nowhere The majority of its inhabitants is uite content with their lot and the few who dream of bigger things leave for the city Ernesto Black Boy eldest son of Do a Nicanora and troublemaker pur sang is one of the latter With luck as bad as his late father s he soon cuts his losses to return home with a shabby pick up truck and a grubby foreigner to show for hisfforts To his Nighttime Sweethearts exasperated mother s relief doctor Arturo takes him on as an assistant and as a companion because no other villager feels inclined to seek out his medicalxpertise The town dwellers are so used to their own customs and routines that any impending change feels like a threat So they visit medicine doctors when illness strikes and the men seek out Don Bosco s barbershop for a daily shave and chat Yet ironically the traveling market is utterly unpredictable driving the poor city doctor to distraction The Gringito whom I secretly suspect to be a North American yogi is the pebble that disturbs the surface of uiet backwater Valle de la Virgen With the money he pays for lodging and meals Nicanora starts to dream once of opening a hat shop and there the trouble begins The misinterpretation of a well meant suggestion leads to havoc and interestingly improvised solutionsThe book acts like a magnifying lens so that the reader can discover for himself how remarkably norm. Dona Nicanora is a woman led by her dreams She imagines adventures far beyond her small swampy South American village and ideally uite far away from her relentless family and neighbours It's uite simp.

Each This month s selection was mine and selected in the same way that I select horses in the Grand National because they have a nice nameThe story is set in a small sleepy town in South America The inhabitants are happy with their lot and the central character Dona Nicanoras has always had a dream to open a hat shop She is widowed and yet only in her Maternity Bride (Silhouette Desire early forties and she has known grief as she as buried several children Times are toughThe sleepy village has very few visitors that is until Dona sldest son returns from another failed trip of making his fortune he is his father s son He brings with him someone he has met and this is the catalyst for changeFrom this moment on Dona considers with the money she has from taking the traveler in as a lodger that she could open her hat shop after all yet the mayor has other ideas and wishes to wake up the sleepy town and bring in visitors of course the conseuences are that town does not get rich only the people that have the money in the first placeI loved the characters and felt that they were portrayed as being vibrant There were some great one liners from Gloria and RamonOn one level the story shows the potential Safe in My Arms exploitation of places and people and that sometimes greed can consume all logical thought and overshadow all the great things In doing so it strips away the very sole of something to the point of ruinUltimately this wasssentially a love story A story of loves those Presunta colpevole endured lost andndured The story of dreams Poisoned Secrets (Murder and Mayhem even if they come at a price Everything that I love in a novel is here lots of interestingccentric noble characters humour uirky plot I Safe Words enjoyed reading this novel so much Dona Nicanoranjoyed a sweet courtship with Don Bosco but turned down his proposal of marriage and ran off with a bad boy who let her down and destroyed her dreams of travelling the world Many years later she realises the folly of her youth She tries to turn her life around by opening a hat shop which affects the town and its inhabitantsSet in South America it is a charming story about realising lost dreams politics love and hat. Es in Villa de la Virgen strange happenings occur and Dona Nicanora's world is turned on its headHere is a bittersweet tale of hopes frustrated and fulfilled with an irresistible love story at its hea.

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