SUNSTRUCK by Mayra Calvani
Daniella is an architecture student living with her narcissistic artist boyfriend in San Juan. Abandoned by her father at an early age, Daniella always falls for the ‘wrong’ type of man. Her most enduring male relationship so far has been with her cat.
Several strange mysteries are threaded through Daniella’s everyday life: her ex-husband, Ismael, has just opened an outlandish hotel for animal lovers that has her distraught; Ismael’s wife, a rich woman Daniella fondly refers to as ‘Lady Dracula’, has some gruesome ways to keep her skin looking young; Daniella’s mother is founding a revolutionary, feminist society called The Praying Mantises; the island’s national forest is being depleted of hallucinogenic mushrooms; meanwhile, young girls are disappearing and there’s a nut loose dressed as Zorro slashing the rear ends of women who wear miniskirts.
Oppressed by all these eccentric characters, Daniella feels herself falling into an abyss. Then something terrible happens, making Daniella wake from her stupor and take charge of her life.
From the author:
The conception of this book stemmed from two factors: my personal observations of Puerto Rican artists when I was a teen and my love for satiric writing. My mother was—and still is—an artist, and although she’s retired now, back in the early eighties she was an active painter in San Juan, showing her works at art exhibits and galleries regularly. She took me everywhere with her, so I attended all these shows and activities and I observed.
The art scene can be extremely interesting and that is because so many artists are eccentric, unconventional people. There’s so much competition, jealousy and gossip! I guess all these experiences must have made an impression on me. When the time came to write my book, I knew these were the people and situations I wanted to write about. I decided I would make the book a parody, this way I could keep it upbeat and have the freedom to exaggerate to the point of being ridiculous. I was sure an upbeat, sharp, satiric, darkly humorous style would be perfect for my novel.
You can read an excerpt here.
“Dark and quirky humor coupled with quixotic characters adds to the surprising mix found in Sunstruck… I've never read a book remotely like it. Everything from the humorously weird to the acutely macabre can be found between these covers, and then some.” –Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review.
"Calvani has taken human nature and put it under a microscope--a warped and slightly cracked microscope. Proving once again that she is a master storyteller in multiple genres, "Sunstruck" by Mayra Calvani is both witty and brilliant." — The Book Connection
"Sunstruck is like a nutty Whodunit with a little twist. Who really is in the Zorro costume? With all the crazy characters I caught myself pointing fingers again and again. A great read that will make you forget where you are, while you giggle yourself to complete oblivion from all the silliness." --Autumn Blues Reviews
"...[A] funny satire that reaches into the realms of paranormal and horror as well as mystery and women's issues." -- Anne K. Edwards, mystery author
"Salvador Dali meets Terry Gilliam...Monty Python's Flying Circus would be proud." -- The Blue Iris Journal
Author: Mayra Calvani
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Amazon / OmniLit
Barnes & Noble
About the Author:
Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to satire to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles,
short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. She has lived in America, Asia, the Middle East, and now lives in Brussels, Belgium.
You can connect with her on: Her Website / Her Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Latino Books Examiner
Sunstruck was a unique book. The plot was full of intrigue and bizarre characters.
If you are looking for something a little different, this may be just what you're looking for!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Honestly, it was unlike anything I've ever read before.
I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please leave a comment!