Back of the book: Inspired by their good-natured rivalry, career-oriented best friends Julia Juarez and Ime Benevides have never let anything come between them. Then enters Julia’s new coworker, Ilario, who pulls both women’s heartstrings, disrupts their friendship, and brings Julia’s career to the brink of disaster.
Looking for support, Julia turns to her other friends: Concepción, a party-obsessed dance instructor; Nina, a timid but shrewd seamstress who’s not too taken with her fiancé; and Marta, owner of the Revolutionary Cantina, who is preoccupied with the details of a Hollywood murder case. When they involve Julia in a risky scheme, she must choose between her loyalty to her friends and a chance to live the life she’s worked so hard to achieve.
Boasting irreverent, edgy humor and a clear sense of Southern Californian culture, this hilarious, insightful debut novel by award-winning author M. Padilla brilliantly captures the comforts and dangers of friendship.
While reading The Girls From The Revolutionary Cantina I found myself thinking it would make an entertaining cable television series. After I finished reading the book it was clear why – the characters’ dialogue is great. The emotions I felt because of what author M. Padilla’s characters said and did ran the gamut from exasperation to sympathy. There were moments when I stopped reading and thought “OMG, I can’t believe that just happened!” The first half of the book seemed a bit slow to me but it lays the groundwork for the second half drama – and there is plenty of drama. Think night-time soap drama. It’s over the top but also entertaining.
I’ve seen comparisons to Sex and the City but I disagree. Perhaps the two main characters could be viewed that way but add the wacky supporting cast and you’ve got a grittier comedy with a few unexpected twists.
I recommend The Girls From The Revolutionary Cantina.
Review copy from St. Martin’s Press