Saturday, May 8, 2010

REVIEW: The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams

I like when authors take the diary format approach when writing a book and this one is no exception. Here we get to read the thoughts of the libertine Don Juan Tenorio, the legendary ladies man of Spain in the 1500's. Don Juan recounts his childhood in which he was abandoned near a convent and taken in by the sisters there when they discovered he was lame. He grows into a young boy under the at times unkind tutelage of the sisters and teachers. As a young man, he experiences his first real (and forbidden) love with Hermana Theresa, a 16 year old girl who comes to the convent. After they are discovered the sisters make Juan leave.

He soon joins the household of the Marquis who teaches him everything he needs to know to become the greatest seducer of women in the country. Juan's exploits soon draw the ire of the Fray Ignacio and the Spanish Inquisition. The King of Spain orders Juan to find a bride and marry and put an end to his wild lifestyle, something which Juan is unwilling to do until he meets Dona Ana, a local noblewoman. She proves to be no easy conquest and things are complicated when the Marquis decides he wants Ana for himself.

I will not give away the ending and tell if Juan gets the girl or not but I will say that I really enjoyed this book. I will admit I am a bit of a prude in my reading. I don't like the bedroom scenes to be very descriptive and I was a bit worried I would get a lot of scenes that would make me turn beet red while reading a book about a legendary lover. As I suspected purple prose abounded with the love scenes (butterflies? Flower petals? Oh my!) but while a wee bit distracting it didn't take away from the story too much. I did like the depiction of Juan in this book-not as a braggart whose only purpose in life is to put as many notches in his bedpost as possible (although he certainly had many) but as a worshipper of women whose goal is to teach them to love themselves. This book had plenty of romance, sad moments and adventure to capture and hold my interest even though I was reading it while recovering from jet lag :)

If the FTC is wondering: This book is from my own personal library

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful review! I have this one and keep glancing over at it wondering when I'll ever get to it...I better bump it up the list- it sounds so good:)