Wilson, Barbara. Gaudi Afternoon. Washington: Seal Press, 2001.
Reason read: February is my birth month and I want to honor women doing cool stuff. In honor of a female globetrotting translator, I’m reading Gaudi Afternoon.
What starts out as a promise to help a friend of a friend find a missing husband because she can speak Spanish, Cassandra Reilly jets off to Barcelona, Spain. She soon finds herself running all over the city, as in running into old lovers left and right. She is supposed to be looking for Ben Stevens, husband to Frankie. Instead, her time is taken up with deflecting old lover, Ana, and Ana’s quest to start a family with Cassandra; or lusting after on again-off again lover and hairdresser, Carmen; or getting orgasmic foot massages from the wacky weird foot therapist, Alice. Occasionally, in between being starved for sexual companionship, and looking for lost people, Cassandra works on translating a South American best seller and discovering the genius of Antonio Gaudi’s architecture. Then there’s looking for Ben…remember the missing husband of Frankie? Only, it isn’t Ben who is missing. This is a never ending kidnapping caper. The gender bending gets confusing at times.
Quotes to quote, “Or I’ll decide I need to catch up with an old lover in Uruguay, and political events will keep me there longer than expected” (p 3).
Pet peeve: small detail. Cassandra goes into a shop that seems to be full of nautical items. Maps are not nautical. Charts are the correct term.
Author fact: Wilson’s last name is Sjoholm. Like her lead heroine, she is a writer, editor, teacher and translator.
Book trivia: Gaudi Afternoon was made into a movie in 2001 starring Judy Davis. Of course I haven’t seen it.
Nancy said: Pearl said Gaudi Afternoon was a contemporary series featuring a female sleuth. I wouldn’t call Cassandra Reilly a “sleuth” but rather a woman who got caught up in sleuthing.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Ms. Mystery” (p 169).