Sunday, January 3, 2010
The Enchantress Of Florence by Salmon Rushdie
This woman is the Enchantress of Florence, but that is just one of her many names. She is called Angelina, The Woman With Dark Eyes, The Enchantress, Qara Koz and other names. She lives in various places, always with men who will give up anything and everything to have her love. When necessary, she picks up and moves on to the next life, the next man.
Salmon Rushdie plays with several themes here. There is the theme of each person knowing a different side of another; this theme is represented by the multiple names that each character has. There is the theme of love and what will be done to sustain love. The question of whether in each relationship there is one who loves and one who is loved is explored. Another theme explores the lives of those who travel and contrasts them with those who choose to remain in their homeplace. Rushdie repeats one phrase that ties the stories of the East and the Italian city of Florence together. The curse of the human race is not that we are so different from one another, but that we are so alike.
This book is highly recommended. The language is lush, and the story moves back and forth, with myriad characters that require the reader's full attention. The characters are finely drawn and even those who have minimal parts to play are fully developed. The book leaves the reader with much to think about. For those readers who enjoy fantasy and non-linear plotlines, this book is a gift.