LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE meets Candide in this delicious, cinematic first novel, soon to be a major Spanish-language film, by a new hot Latina writer.
In Santitos, María Amparo Escandón has woven an unforgettable, character-rich story with a Latin flavor, which takes us on a journey that explores the nature of sin and absolution, the pain of loss and the resurrection of desire.
Esperanza Díaz deeply religious and unaware of the enchanting, erotic effect of her own beauty, lives in a tiny Mexican village in Veracruz. Tragically widowed at a young age, her life is about to grow even sadder with the mysterious disappearence of her only child, her twelve year old daughter Blanca, who never makes it out of the hospital after a routine operation. One night, weeping, as she cleans her kitchen oven, the grief-stricken Esperanza sees the image of her favorite "santito" - Saint Judas Tadeo - floating on her greasy oven door. "Blanca is not dead", he tells her. "Go and find her."
Convinced that her daughter has been sold into prostitution, Esperanza reinvents herself as a whore so that she'll blend in. This unlikely sex goddess goes from wearing sensible shoes to strappy red spike heels, lights candles, says novenas, and lugs her precious box of saints along every step of her journey.
Santitos has been made into a Spanish-language film with English subtitles, co-produced by John Sayles and Alejandro Springall. The film will be released in the US in early 1999.