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The Long Night of White Chickens
by Francisco Goldman

Category: Fiction / General
450 pages; ISBN: 0-87113-509-4

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Coletta Ollerer


Roger, the speaker, is a young man searching for the murderer of his beloved childhood friend and companion, Flor. When he was just a toddler, the teenage Flor had come from his mother’s native land, Guatemala, to work in his parent’s suburban New Jersey home as a maid. Their relationship became warm and close. After her graduation from college, Flor returned to Guatemala to run an orphanage and it was there that she was murdered. She, as a Guatemalan/American and an official of the orphanage moved in high circles of Guatemalan society and was admired and respected there. But her homicide resulted in bad press for her and when she was found dead no one in Guatemala was interested in solving the murder. It was into that milieu that Roger settled along with his friend Moya, a Guatemalan journalist, as they worked to solve the crime. “But I will say that nothing happened to convince us that what the papers and authorities (in Guatemala) were saying about Flor wasn’t true. And it is what I’d more or less believed since, for over a year, about Flor, until the day just over a month ago when Luis Moya Martinez looked me up in Brooklyn, New York, where I was living.”
Colorful characters from both sides of the border add interest to this narrative of two societies. The conversational tone of the story engages the reader at once. The story is told from Roger’s point of view, as if he were attempting to understand it all. As in normal conversation he uses many parenthetic remarks and takes numerous tangential excursions. These result in very long sentences which is the only fault to be found with the book. Roger’s prepossessing personality carries us along on this engrossing journey into the world of Central American politics and society. The reader is as pleased as he with each new discovery. Francisco Goldman scored a triumph in story telling with this, his first novel.


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