Thursday Night Widows
Claudia Pineiro, Miranda France
Bitter Lemon, Jan 2010, $14.95
As Argentina falls apart due to an economic collapse of incredible proportions just after 9/11, the country seems on the verge of anarchy with no place that is safe. That is except for the well to do living in gated communities that insulate them from what is going on outside except for the TV news and their outside employment.
In the Buenos Aires gated community Cascade Heights, four men (El Tano Scaglia, Martín Urovich Gustavo Masotta and Ronie Guevara) have dinner together every Thursday night. However, this time is different as three lie dead in the swimming pool at the most affluent Scaglia home; only Guevara who left early remains alive. How could this happen especially to someone as influential and powerful as El Tano is on the minds of their family members as all assume a horrific electrical accident occurred. However, Virginia Guevara though curious and shocked fears for her Ronie who behaves strangely since the incident and she believes he knows something more.
This is an interesting look at a Argentina in which the upper class behaved like Nero fiddling away while the country collapsed. The story line is mostly told through Virginia’s eyes as a successful realtor to the wealthy. Although insightful with a strong cast who warn readers to beware of growing exponential gaps between the affluent and the middle class, the mystery of the pool takes a back seat to the discerning look at the gilded life behind the gated community.