Writer: Mia Manning
In Gabriel García Márquez novel ‘Chronicles of a Death Foretold’, a book that originally debuted in the early 80s, a murder ‘mystery’ is explained from a third person’s point of view. The novel has aged considerably well for a book written so long ago. It’s a short, easy read that can keep a reader on the edge of their seat, despite only being 122 pages and could also be regarded as a modern literary classic, especially with the themes it approaches and the tone it has.
Despite being written in the 80s, the book is framed in the 1950s in a small, Colombian town called Sucre. This novel is written using interviews and flashbacks, which is somewhat strange for a murder novel (as they are typically written using investigators who are discovering facts and turning over evidence page by page) and not only that, but the murderers and the murder victim are already known to the reader within the first chapter, but don’t worry, the novel has many other unsolved mysteries that allows the readers mind to reel with curiosity in the background.
This book approaches many themes such as love, pride, and even feminism. In fact, the whole story is based around vengeful, family pride, due to one woman previously losing her virginity before her wedding night to a man who was not her soon to be husband. Her new husband finds out about this the night after the wedding and returns her to her family, disgusted with her. Her family, in turn, discover the reason behind his actions and her brothers swear to murder the man who did this in the name of their family. The woman admits to her ‘lovers’ name (although this is one of the many mysteries in the novel that is never truly discovered, it is highly suspected, by both other readers and myself, that the woman lied in order to protect her actual lover), and thus the novel ‘begins’ as the flashbacks and interviews of other minor and major characters follow these brothers and their actions in their effort to murder the man their sister named, Santiago Nasar.
All in all, chronicles of a death foretold is a beautiful novel that would be a perfect summer read, it’s not daunting in length, and packs easily in a bag for a trip.It manages to keep the reader intrigued without being overbearing and overwhelming, I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in diving into the genre of murder mysteries, as well as anyone who wishes they could read a novel without having to alter their schedule and place aside an immense amount of time for it.