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The Thursday Night Widows

The Thursday Night Widows, July 2009
by Claudia Pineiro

Bitter Lemon Press
269 pages
ISBN: 1904738419
EAN: 9781904738411
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"Suspenseful read about the death of three men and of a upper middle class community in Argentina"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Thursday Night Widows
Claudia Pineiro

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.

Learn more about The Thursday Night Widows


"An agile novel written in a language perfectly pitched for the subject matter, a ruthless dissection of a fast decaying society"—José Saramago

The English translation of hit novel Las Viudas de Los Jueves!

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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