Emilia and Luzia dos Santos, orphaned when they are children, grow up under the protection of their aunt in the hillside village of Taquaritinga, Brazil. Raised as seamstresses, the sisters learn how to cut, how to mend and how to conceal. Emilia treasures pretty, girlish things and longs to escape from the confines of the little town. Captivated ...Read MoreEmilia and Luzia dos Santos, orphaned when they are children, grow up under the protection of their aunt in the hillside village of Taquaritinga, Brazil. Raised as seamstresses, the sisters learn how to cut, how to mend and how to conceal. Emilia treasures pretty, girlish things and longs to escape from the confines of the little town. Captivated by the romances she reads in magazines, she dreams of finding love in the bustle and glamour of the city. Luzia, scarred by a childhood accident that has left her with a deformed arm, knows that for her, real life can not be romantically embroidered, and so she finds solace in her sewing and in the secret prayers to the saints she believes once saved her life. But when Luzia is abducted by a gang of rebel bandits, the sisters' lives diverge in ways they never imagined. Whilst Luzia learns to survive in the unforgiving Brazilian outland, discovering love in the most unexpected of places, Emilia meets the son of a wealthy doctor who seems to offer her everything she has always desired. But for the innocent dreamer, the excitement of her escape to the city is soon overshadowed by disillusion and loneliness. As she learns how to navigate the treacherous waters of Brazilian high society, the bandits' campaign against the land-owning 'Colonels' intensifies, and when a price is placed upon Luzia's head Emilia realises she must risk everything in order to save her sister.Read Less
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Characters seem real, and like "Gone With the Wind", you just have to find out what happens to them. Two tremendously different sisters, a tragic accident, a life of sorrow...or is it? Determination not to become a victim...but to become feared. Set in Brazil in the 1930's, it's a tale of civil development, how folks willingly compromise their soul for money/status, and how some folks will never compromise on anything. Fiction based on historical FACTS. Bad guys galore, but what is so alluring in this novel, is the reader starts to identify with, and understand, the desperados. We effortlessly dip into the dark side. Many unpredictable twists and turns. Lovely scenery depictions, facinating historical fiction...I didn't want the book to end. Highest possible recommendation!
Publishers Weekly, 2008-03-31 This lavishly detailed if overlong debut novel set in 1920s and '30s Brazil follows two sisters who share excellent sewing skills, but take divergent paths into adulthood. Crippled by a childhood accident and mocked for her deformities, Luzia is considered unmarriageable. So after a bandit kidnaps her, she realizes that marrying the outlaw leader may be her only chance at independence and happiness. Beautiful Emelia, yearning for the refinements of the big city, spurns her many rural suitors, but--reeling from her sister's abduction and her aunt's subsequent death--enters a disastrous marriage with a wealthy, suave stranger who has plenty of untoward secrets and a mother who treats Emelia like dirt. The sisters' paths collide after Luzia, now mythologized as a vicious criminal known as the Seamstress, becomes targeted by Emelia's criminologist father-in-law, unaware of the two women's connection. Though a good number of passages could have been left on the cutting-room floor, the leisurely pace and attention to detail immerse the reader in both gilded halls and unsavory bandit camps. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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