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Pampas Review
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Take an Italian son of a Mafioso, throw in a rich landowner, a beautiful rich American Archaeologist and a snobbish Ambassador, and what do you have? Pampas. This enticing tome, set in the wilds of Argentina is a must read for every Janet Elaine Smith fan and those that aren’t (yet).

 

Our first glimpse of the Mendoza estancia (ranch) is through Raul, the new gaucho hired by Senor Mendoza. It is also a most fateful visit because the entire book revolves around Senor Mendoza yet we rarely meet him. The socio-economic and political message is woven throughout but you won’t realize it until at least an hour after you finish the book.

 

You will see most of the characters at their worst and at their best and sometimes within the same paragraph. Argentina is a beautiful country even in the most crowed of cities,  Buenos Aires. Raul goes from Gaucho to dueno, the landowner. How much trouble can an Italian American get into running a South American ranch? A hint, it takes two and twice that many to get him out of it. What did Raul do to deserve the honors placed upon him and why does he feel so out of place and undeserving? Ms Smith shows how a strong family and close connections to a local church can transform not only landscapes, but people as well.

 

Unless you have hidden in a closet your entire life you will feel this book. The range of emotions can be chilling if you relate to any of these characters. There is nothing scary in Pampas, but as you read, your mind will actually review your own past. You do become one with this book.

 

Oh, did I mention you learn a bit of Spanish on the way? To find out all the thrilling details you will have to ‘dig them out’ for yourself as Sam would say.