Suzanne Ruta
March 19, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Oscar Hijuelos
genre
Fiction

We gave it a C

Hollywood and the Pulitzer Prize committee loved Oscar Hijuelos’ second novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, although some readers found its lengthy celebrations of male lust exasperating. As if in response, Hijuelos has turned to a female milieu, the household of a dreamy Cuban woman, her dour Irish husband, and their many daughters, chronicling their lives from birth to death. Unfortunately, The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O’Brien mistakes nostalgia for plot, drenching the action in melancholy or spicing it with enough anatomical detail to embarrass a committed voyeur. Tumescent bodies, flaccid writing. C

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