At the first sight, this novel was confusing. I couldn’t grasp the plot, the main character, the conflict, even the setting of the story. Every line felt elusive and I understood nothing at all for the first 20 pages. This kind of “jet-lag” came whenever I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s pieces. Maybe it is caused by the cultural difference between mine and his.
Yet, I opposed to cease reading because my guts told me to. I understood nothing, but reading the novel felt right. Suddenly, in the middle of the story, I found myself trapped in a fictional world. It was a small coastal village in South America who was aroused by the coming of Bayardo San Roman.
He was described by Gabo as a charismatic and versatile man in the eye of the community. Money, power, and glory came to him naturally. He even managed to conquer the most beautiful woman in town, Angela Vicario, and married her.
However, the perfect life of Bayardo suddenly collapsed just hours after the ceremony. He found that Angela had been dishonored – she wasn’t a virgin anymore – and returned the bride to her family. After completely beaten, Angela mentioned the man who dishonored her, Santiago Nasar. Enveloped by anger, her twin brothers made their mind to restore the family honor by killing Santiago.
The news about their ploy to kill Santiago had been spread to entire town. Some people believed it, while others did not. Still, the death of Santiago Nasar became inevitable. The twins killed him and the problem grew more complicated as time went by.
The narrator did not try to solve the case. It was done on daylight by Vicario brothers and everyone knew it. Full stop. The mystery that lingered is: why no one was able to prevent the murder even though they already knew it?
He collected the fact around the village and interviewed the inhabitants who had good connection with Santiago at the day. Instead of getting answer, more questions occurred. There was even a possibility that Angela Vicario lied, scapegoating Santiago, while protecting the real culprit. So, was Santiago innocent? Did Angela deceit the entire town? What happened with Bayardo San Roman?
Finally, Gabo gave us a bitter taste inside because many puzzles left unanswered around the incident. Those who love teenlit may hate this story, but the best novels always leave the readers to decide. And no one does it better than Gabo.