My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The description of this novel states that it is based on a true story. A look at the author's website confirmed that the story is very similar to the author's life. It reads very much like a memoir, but a very lively and entertaining memoir. Its pointless to wonder how much is true, but I found myself not reading a fictional character but a very real one.
I doubt that I am in the author's target demographic...I am a 65 year old guy that retired out of a factory. Other than a 4 year stint in the military and a collection of business trips I have traveled very little. Rather than taking life by the horns and controlling my destiny, I have always reacted to what life handed me. At this point in my life, my dreams are more on the order of avoiding yet another hurting joint and staying the hell out of nursing home for as long as possible. So while Dora's adventures and travels inspired perhaps a little regret that I personally never threw caution to the wind and just lived life to the fullest, I am also old enough and wise enough to realize that there are the adventurous and then there are homebodies...I fall into the latter, as Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz "there is no place like home."
That said I am also an old romantic. I have often used the term that I am in "love with love." The car rental woman that takes Dora on a tour of Havana, says that of the people of Cuba. So what I really found interesting in this book was Dora's romantic life. While her descriptions of her pursuit of "lust" are not explicit, they were frank and to the point. She shares the erotic excitement of being in a relationship with the "Stallion" but ultimately rejects the notion of being in a relationship for "just sex." Dora finds that "that something is missing" and that relationships built solely on lust are operating on borrowed time. Dora wants something more and what she needs and finds is love. It was this part of Dora's story that I identified with and to the Doras of the world, I would say it works! I have been with my wife for 39 years and married to her for 37. That woman has taken me on adventures to realms that have no air service...there is no place like our bedroom. So along with my dreams of avoiding nursing homes, I have a dream that I am mid-trajectory in the adventure of life as husband and wife, but only taking off as soul-mates. There is no place like eternity.
So what does an old cranky introverted curmudgeon like me get out of reading a book about a perky, young, vivacious, intelligent woman with both wander and lust? Dora is full of life, lust and love. She is intelligent, but also wise well beyond her years. What Dora did for me was to strum my heartstrings for the daughter that I never had.
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