IMAGINARY LIFE: A Novel & A Little Love Story from Spain ~Mara Torres
“Now I can barely remember the trip to New York, because that’s what’s f*%ked* up about the imagination; you turn your back for one second and it all slips from your grasp.” (from about 7% of an advanced uncorrected proof- unable to secure a final text)
TLC Online Book Tours sent me a copy of this delightful story for review and it was a pleasure to read this fun story in the uncorrected proof advance copy. IMAGINARY LIFE takes place in Madrid and although I have never been there it was fun to experience it through the imagination of Fortunata Fortuna or Nata as her friends called this interesting, my guess, thirty something’s search for love.
The story begins as Nata’s boyfriend has dumped her after a long relationship and many adventures. She is talking about her feelings nearly non-stop and working long hours at a startup ad agency. Rita and Carlotta, friends, attempt to help her move forward and enjoy life once again. Nata’s imagination of what is happening is quite humorous as she flies from her bed to her ex-lover’s loft and has conversations she wishes were real. She fantasies about how the conversation will proceed even as she is walking to answer her doorbell and during her therapy sessions.
The Section Titles are very fun: Part 1: If Not Now, Then When? Part 2: Making Plans for Real Life. Part 3: If Not You, Then Who? I absolutely loved her fantasized contract for her next boyfriend of how they would form a relationship and bond – Nata’s rules. The Cosmetics Demonstration home party, which they could not have in the USA because the women are too uptight, imagined experience was very humorous. Then came the imagined opportunity at a political rally, because all good friends discuss and argue politics all the time; except during the financial crisis when they support each other.
Meeting friends for coffee, nightclubbing and dancing until the wee hours of a new morning was a very interesting part of the story. There is a “laid back” attitude. The new expressions and the local references took a few pages to sort and then the book was just fun right up to the arrival of a new boyfriend. IMAGINARY LIFE is a story about what one is thinking might happen. Do you do this in your life? What stories do you create about your daily living and emails? What will really happen and what did you imagine?
From the publisher’s description: “ Original and contemporary, this debut novel, a finalist for the Planeta Prize, has the nerve center of a confessional and introduces readers to Fortunata Fortuna, a character the world won’t soon forget. “
Mara Torres is a journalist and TV anchor in Madrid, Spain and now a writer of a good imaginative, contemporary tale. IMAGINARY LIFE – a debut novel.