WHY DID I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK?
I randomly found this book at a £1 sale in Waterstones. Simply put, I chose it because it was thin, about an advertising director, and Brazilian(Fact of the day:Mariana, the other half of this blog, is half Brazilian). I was drawn to the story and I found myself wanting to read more about the Brazilian society.
PLOT(from the book cover)
Olavo Bettencourt is an important man, a man of spin. With Brazil adjusting to the new idea of democracy, his PR firm holds the balance of power in its hands. Which has also made Olavo very rich, if not very popular.
Loathed by his trophy wife and admired in a web of political corruption that spreads from Sao Paolo to Switzerland, Israel and New York, Olavo is an obvious target for extortion. And what better leverage can there be but the kidnapping of his only son.
Except that child, on his way home from school in Olavo’s armour-plated car, deep into his colouring book as the gang closes in…
He’s not Olavo’s son.
IS HAPPINESS EASY?
I have mixed emotions about this book. I experienced it as pretty average to be honest with you. The story is interesting and keeps you on your feet, but I can tell it’s a book I’ll quickly forget once I’m done with it.
One storyline felt unnecessary as it didn’t truly cross paths with what was clearly considered the ‘main story.’ The way I see it, this specific storyline served as a backstory to further demonstrate one important point: Brazil is an difficult country for a poor person to live in and corruption is everywhere. Which, indeed, is quite an interesting storyline, but takes valuable pages away from the what I considered the ‘main’ plot.
The book criticises corruption and the Brazilian system and does so in an good way, but as a non-Brazilian I felt lost at times, especially when it was dealing with elections. However, I feel I have gained an insight into what Brazil is like, from an insider’s perspective, which makes it worth the read.
Mara was the character I was most intrigued by. She lived an unfulfilling life, while still having access to the things that supposedly make you happy. She goes through a change in this book that I quite enjoyed reading.
HAVE YOU READ ANY INTERESTING BOOKS FROM BRAZIL?