Evenings at the Argentine Club: A Novel
Grand Central Publishing (2009)
Reviewed by Deb Shunamon for Reader Views (01/10)
Victoria has been a good daughter, giving up dreams and her own independence to help with the family business. When successful, handsome Eric reenters his parents’ lives, looking to fill an emptiness in his life, he and Victoria set off events in a gentle story where characters finally come to openly admit what, and who, is important in their lives. While the novel ends, perhaps a bit too abruptly, with thoughts on the immigration experience, I enjoyed it more as a tale about comfortable love which develops over time; sensual, young love; and the limitless love of parents for their children. “Evenings at the Argentine Club,” the gathering spot in Los Angeles for a community to maintain their culture, is as much a universal love story as it is about being Argentinian in America.
I really enjoyed this novel. Julie Amante writes well and the various story lines move swiftly between the couples and families. The characters are written with a lot of sensitivity, realistically portraying youth and those who are aging. The reader comes to understand each one of the major characters well, empathizing with the sacrifices immigrants make so their children can lead good lives, as well as the problems that arise when younger people, who are more American than their immigrant parents are comfortable with, make the older ones realize the need to question some of their traditions and rules.
This is an interesting book, with a relaxed story told in fluid, well-written language. “Evenings at the Argentine Club” by Julia Amante is a mature story of love between people and their culture, and I highly recommend it.