Passion and politics brilliantly collide during a week at the South American Hotel Miraflor as author Cristina Garcia (of Dreaming in Cuban fame) interweaves the chaotic lives of six of its guests.
The most fascinating is the heroine of the title - Suki Palacios - a former medical student and stunningly beautiful Los Angeleno of Japanese/Mexican descent. Her knowledge of anatomy, a precise pre-fight ritual ("then in the shadowed moment before she steps into the ring, Suki repeats three words in Spanish and Japanese, arrogance, honor death") and the proud traditions of a bull-fighting heritage will hopefully serve to insure her victory at the first Battle of the Lady Matadors in the Americas.
Colonel Martin Abel, well practised in the art of torture has proudly organized a military conference of top officials from twenty-two nations. Serving his pork chops while plotting his murder is Aura Estrada, a former guerilla disguised as waitress.
Contemplating suicide in the honeymoon is Won Kim overwhelmed by the failure of his business, the imminent death of his mother and the impending birth of his child by his fifteen year old mistress.
A frequent visitor to the hotel is Gertrudis Stuber, entrepreneur of a ethically questionable adoption enterprise. This week she is bringing a new baby to an American wife and her Cuban poet husband. Perhaps the baby will repair a very torn marriage.
If the cover fails to entice just read the first page. Garcia's prose shimmers as brightly as Suki's traje de luces.
Proceed to Priceline and check into the Miraflor at first opportunity.