Evita...My Argentina by Helen R. Davis
Publication Date: February 10, 2017
Custom Book Publications
eBook & Paperback; 228 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical
Source: This novel was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Evita Perón tells her own spectacular story.
Tracing her life back to her humble beginnings, when she is abandoned by her father, Evita takes the reader on her journey to become an actress and later, to the pivotal moment when she meets Colonel Juan Perón. Never content to stay in her husband’s shadow, Evita reveals how she shares his belief that Peronism will help the working class. Eventually she begins doing work on her own as the president of the Society of Benevolence, helping the poor and winning the peoples’ trust.
As the times change and women get the vote, Evita becomes even more powerful, running the Ministries of Labor and Health, starting a foundation, and organizing the first female party, The Female Peronist Party.
A larger-than-life story, told in her own fictional words, the powerful novel is as educational as it is entertaining.
My Review: Evita was one of Argentina’s most powerful and controversial figures. She was a woman who cared for the poor, but her overspending led to bankruptcy that Argentina could never recover from. However, Evita inspired a cult-like following. When she died, she was embalmed and millions attended her funeral. In Evita…My Argentina, Evita narrates the story in her own words. The novel starts from her humble beginnings to her struggling career as an actress and finally as the First Lady of Argentina.
I was first introduced to Evita by the musical starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas. I was curious about her because the movie was shown from Che’s perspective rather than Evita’s, and it did not show a balanced view Since then, I have read a few books and essays on her, with my favorite biography being Evita by Nicholas Fraser. While I found Evita’s story of her rise to power fascinating, my views of her as a person are mixed. She did have love for the poor, but she also loved living an extravagant lifestyle. When I heard that Mrs. Davis had written a historical fiction novel about Evita, I was elated. I had always wanted a novel about her in English. I had read Santa Evita by Eloy Martinez Tomas in college, but it did not meet my expectations. Mrs. Davis’s novel was a fresh retelling because it was seen through Evita’s eyes.
Evita had a hard beginning. She was bullied because she was illegitimate. She always dreamed of making a name for herself. She wanted to be an actress. When she arrived in Buenos Aires, she was a starry-eyed teen. However, she was quickly faced with the harsh reality that it was not easy to fulfill her dreams. She had to make tough decisions. Her dream comes true when she finally meets Juan Peron. Juan helped her rise out of her position as a struggling actress to the position of First Lady.
Mrs. Davis’s Evita is mostly plays a passive role. She wants to be a good wife to her husband. Later on, she sees her husband as a savior and believes that he is the hope of Argentina. Evita has two passions: her husband and the poor. She wants the country to serve her husband. She agrees to have women vote so that they can support her husband. She even forms her own women’s party. However, she doesn’t want there to be any other women’s parties. She even disbanded her own sister’s. This is because she believes that she is the only person who can help her husband’s vision. She also cares about the poor and wants to help them. However, it is clear that she overspends. She uses her power to help the poor and stomp on the rich. Thus, Evita eventually becomes power-hungry. She enjoys having power and does not want to relinquish it.
I thought the author developed Evita’s character, but I was disappointed in how she created Juan Peron’s. His vision for Argentina was never described. I never understood why Evita thought of him as a savior for Argentina. Why was she so radical about making everyone follow Juan? Why was he Argentina’s hope? What was the new Argentina? None of those questions were answered. Juan Peron, who was supposed to be Evita’s partner, remained in the shadows throughout most of the novel. Thus, he was very elusive. It seemed that Evita loved him because of his power.
Overall, this novel gives us an intimate look of how Evita may have seen herself. While it is a short novel, it is filled with sumptuous detail. The author does an excellent job in portraying how Argentina was a rich country before the Perons were in office, and how the country was rapidly declining during the Peron era. Evita…My Argentina moved at a steady pace. This is a must read to those who are interested in reading about the woman that inspired the Broadway hit musical!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The Most Happy by Helen R. Davis
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction
This is a novel that imagines Anne Boleyn giving Henry a son and taking the reins of power as Regent of England when Henry VIII perishes in a jousting accident.
Told in the voice of the infamous Anne Boleyn, we are treated to the 16th century world that has recently become famous through programs such as The Tudors. We meet Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, and many of the personalities of the mid-16th century albeit in an altered setting.
How would this era and time, a pivotal one in Western Civilization, have changed if one of the movers and shakers of the period, Anne Boleyn, had not been struck down in her prime by the man who once adored her?
About the Author:Helen R. Davis is an American author. Her first novel, Evita: My Argentina was previously published as Evita: My Life and republished with Custom Book Publications in Hong Kong. Her second novel, CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED, which is the first in a series, imagines a world in which Antony and Cleopatra, rather than Augustus Caesar, are the victors of the Battle of Actium. the sequel, CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS, will be released soon, followed by the titles CLEOPATRA MAGNIFICA and CLEOPATRA TRIUMPHANT. Her third novel, or at least, her third historical novel/alternate history, THE MOST HAPPY, will be published with Callipe Editorial, based out of Madrid Spain, on July 25th, 2017.
For more information, please visit Helen Davis' website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Blog Tour Schedule:Monday, August 6
Feature at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 7
Feature at Pass Me That Book (The Most Happy)
Thursday, August 9
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Friday, August 10
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (Evita)
Monday, August 13
Review at Donna's Book Blog (The Most Happy)
Wednesday, August 15
Feature at Naomi Finley's Blog
Friday, August 17
Feature at Passages to the Past
Monday, August 20
Review at Pass Me That Book (Evita)
Wednesday, August 22
Review at Donna's Book Blog (Evita)
Friday, August 24
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Giveaway:During the Blog Tour we will be giving away one paperback & one eBook of The Most Happy & one eBook of Evita! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Helen Davis - Most Happy & Evita