"Suspenseful read about the death of three men and of a upper middle class community in Argentina"
Reviewed by Patricia Woodside
Posted January 2, 2010
THURSDAY NIGHT WIDOWS begins and ends with death. Death of
three men. Death of a community.
The bodies of three of the prominent men of the gated
community, The Cascade, are found dead in the swimming pool
at one of their homes. The Cascade is the place to live,
where the realities and frictions of life are shut out.
This is a protected and secretive community. A community of
many secrets. Deadly secrets.
In THURSDAY NIGHT WIDOWS, Claudia Pineiro gives both a
suspenseful crime novel and a portrait into the lives of
Argentina's upper middle class during the economic crisis at
the turn of the century. It is both sad and intriguing, and
in some ways, a looking glass into what has been occurring
in America over the last couple of years, with families
living beyond their means only to be caught up in the credit
crisis and the sure yet still surprising economic fallout.
There are many characters who help to tell this story. At
times, I found it difficult to know whose point of view I
was in, especially when the person narrating was not
directly involved in the action unfolding in a particular
scene. Still, once the story snagged my attention, I had to
keep turning pages, curious as to what really happened in
that swimming pool on that Thursday evening as much as I was
to learn what would become of these people who knew the
lives they were living were part illusion but continued as
if the veil would never be lifted.
I loved Ms. Pineiro's voice, as translated by Miranda
France, and would be interested in reading more of her work.
THURSDAY NIGHT WIDOWS is a good, suspenseful read.
"An agile novel written in a language perfectly pitched for
the subject matter, a ruthless dissection of a fast decaying
The English translation of hit novel Las Viudas de Los
Three bodies lie at the bottom of a swimming pool in a
gated country estate near Buenos Aires. It's Thursday night
at the magnificent Scaglia house. Behind the locked gates,
shielded from the crime, poverty, and filth of the people on
the streets, the Scaglias and their friends hide lives of
infidelity, alcoholism, and abusive marriage. Claudia
Piñeiro's novel eerily foreshadowed a criminal case that
generated a scandal in the Argentine media.
But this is more than a story about crime. The suspense is a
byproduct of Piñeiro's hand at crafting a psychological
portrait of a professional class that lives beyond its means
and leads secret lives of deadly stress and despair. It
takes place during the post-9/11 economic meltdown in
Argentina, but it is a universal story that will resonate
among credit-crunched readers of today.
The film of Thursday Night Widows, by Argentine New Wave and
award-winning director Marcelo Piñeyro is coming soon with
trailers available online. Claudia Piñeiro was a journalist,
playwright, and television scriptwriter and in 1992 won the
prestigious Pléyade Annual Journalism Award. She has more
recently turned to fiction and is the author of literary
crime novels that are all bestsellers in Latin America and
have been translated into four languages.
This novel won the Clarin Prize for fiction and is her first
title to be available in English.
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