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The Divine Husband by Francisco Goldman
Set in the 19th-century in an unnamed Central American country, The Divine Husband tells the story of Marķa de las Nieves Moran, the daughter of an Irish-American father and a Central American mother. She enters a convent as a teenager to accompany her best friend, Paquita, who is using it to hide from her suitor, a 40-year old tyrannical general. When the government orders the convent closed, Maria makes her way to the U.S., and the rest of her life is spent between New York and Central America. Her friendship with Paquita is the consistent element in her life, and her involvement with several men includes the Cuban poet and revolutionary, Jose Marti. Francisco Goldman (of both Guatemalan and American heritage) uses the story of Maria's life to explore ideas of love, beauty, history, poetry, and more. The Divine Husband has received mostly positive reviews with the Houston Chronicle saying, "Who or what constitutes a divine husband? Within these pages, some find the answer in faith, others in a poet-hero, still others in home and country, or in the embrace of long-sought kinship. Their journeys make for a uniquely ambitious and enlightening read."