Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: The Foreigners by Maxine Swann

Title: The Foreigners
Author: Maxine Swann
Publisher: Riverhead Books (ARC)
Publish Date: August 18, 2011
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You like interesting characters.
  • You appreciate stories about finding one's self.
  • You love exotic locales.

What's the Story?:

From "Buenos Aires is a city of Parisian affections and national anxiety, of amorous young lovers, seedy ports, flooded slums, and a dazzling social elite. Into this heady maze of contradiction and possibility enter two women: Daisy, an American divorcée; and Isolde, a beautiful, lonely Austrian. In Buenos Aires, Isolde finds that her blond European looks afford her entrée to the kind of elite, alluring social world she never would have had access to in her home country, but her ascension also sets her up for a long, surprising fall. Meanwhile, Daisy joins forces with Leonarda, a chameleonic Argentine with radical dreams of rebellion, who transfixes Daisy with her wild effervescence. Soon, Daisy is throwing off her American earnestness and engaging in a degree of passion, manipulation, and risk-taking in a way she never has before. Buenos Aires has allowed her to become someone else."

My Two Cents:

This book is a book about coming into one's own and leaving inhibitions behind. Daisy comes to Buenos Aires to get away from it all. A chance to study the city's water system lands her a free pass into the city. At first, she feels sort of at sea in the country until she meets Leonarda, the most interesting character of all in this book. Leonarda stands for everything that Daisy wants to be: intelligent, carefree, and wild. Leonarda helps Daisy cast off some of the trappings of her old life and really come into her own but not without consequences.

One thing that I most love to read in books is really wonderful descriptions of settings. This book definitely has it. I haven't made it to South America yet but if and when I do, I definitely would love for Buenos Aires. The Foreigners gives a good picture of this pulsing, exciting city and it's varied inhabitants. I felt like I could have been in the city itself with the wonderful way in some of the descriptions were written.

This book is a nebulous sort of book so if you like concrete, this may not be for you. You get to see how the characters grow and change throughout the book but you don't get a good sense of where they go once the book ends. And you know, I'm just fine with that. The process is really the main point of this book though, I think.

Bottom line: If you want a good story with good characters in an exotic locale, this is just the book for you.

My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars


  1. Sounds like a great book! I've never read a novel that takes place in Buenos Aires before...yay for armchair traveling :)

  2. I should read this because I have always wanted to see Buenos Aires (although I probably never will!) but from what you say it sounds like I would get great descriptions in this book!

  3. I am in love with the cover! This books sounds right up my alley, too.

  4. I love that cover! And usually I hate photos on covers.

    Exotic locale? Check.Interesting characters? Check. I'm all in!

  5. @rhapsodyinbooks The only problem with the book is that it made me want to travel even more!


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