In a tiny, coastal Latin American town, Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Román get married and have the biggest party the town had seen! But soon after, Bayardo returns his new wife to her shocked family after he realizes that her virginity has been spoiled. In an effort to restore her honor, her twin brothers murder her alleged deflowerer in cold blood (obviously not a spoiler), but not before announcing their intentions for all to hear.
The late master Gabriel García Márquez (with credit to translator Gregory Rabassa) has once again impressed me and captivated me with his command of language, this time in an effort to explore and document the events that surround this very public homicide. Not only does Marquez look at whether or not the Vicario brothers are right in defending their sister's honor in such a way, but even more significant, he writes a fascinating portrait of a small town, and how its collective mindset, the self-absorption of it's citizens, bad decisions, unfortunate fate, and possibly straight up lies came together in an epic fail of preventing a tragedy that ultimately affect the community for years to come."'All right, girl,' he told her, trembling with rage, 'tell us who it was.'
She only took the time necessary to say the name. She looked for it in the shadows, she found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names from this world and the other, and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.
'Santiago Nasar,' she said"
"They taught her old wives' tricks to feign her lost possession, so that on her first morning as a newlywed she could display open under the sun in the courtyard of her house the linen sheet with the stain of honor."