Just living day to day isn’t always easy – especially when your hometown becomes a virtual minefield. In It Would Be Night in Caracas, Karina Sainz Borgo (with translations from Elizabeth Bryer) depicts the turbulence of modern Venezuela with all of the stoicism of war, the grief and joy of humanity, and the flair of a dedicated writer.
In Adelaida Falcón’s journey, readers get one of the most poignant before-and-after images one can have of a specific place. Having grown up in a thriving, vibrant version of Venezuela, Adelaida shows us how a normal childhood can evaporate in a country full of revolutionaries, where citizens fight citizens on a daily basis. For her, the daily struggles seem endless: a shortage of basic necessities and food, street riots and protests, the threat that any day she might have to share or even give up her modest home to one side or another. And throughout the entire story, Adelaida’s voice remains a quiet sort of constant, calmly leading readers from one place or plot point to the next like a local tour guide.
It Would Be Night in Caracas is an unapologetic exploration of the average citizen’s trials in a precarious social and political environment, told in a bold and sometimes blunt tone that Borgo manipulates masterfully. With an easily followed storyline and even pace, this is one read that will both shock readers and make them feel right at home.