Friday, 20 August 2010

Valeria's Last Stand by Marc Fitten

The author Marc Fitten let's his first novel be set in Hungary. He himself lived in Europe for some years and spent the most of his time in Hungary.

Valeria lives in the Hungarian Prairie, she is sixty-eight years old and a cranky, very peculiar spinster. She finds flaws in everything: her neighbors who spent all the time in Ibolya's tavern, the villages major, who makes bad politics and has a skinny legged wife, even the vegetables being sold on the market are limp.
But it comes the day when the village's potter draws Valeria's attention to himself. She is struck by his nice hands and his solid gaze. Suddenly she wears her hair open, dresses in flowery skirts and stops nagging about everything. She is not too shy to confess her affections for the potter, who is amazed and follows her call. But the villages becomes restless as Valeria reveals this improper character trade.

Although the author comes up with descriptions of very peculiar people living in a very peculiar village, I never could quite picture Valeria. I had no problems with fifty-something Ibolya though, running the village's tavern dressed in tight blouse and short skirt to have the men order more beer. She loves the potter too but seems to have no chance against Valeria and her charm. Even old men remember the days when Valeria was no cranky spinster and how they would have followed her if she had given them a sign. But she didn't want to as when she was young her sweetheart decided for another woman.

I think it is all about loneliness in a woman's older ages. Valeria suddenly decided against it as she realized she still could attract men like the potter. So she tried to win his heart for her. But the common people couldn't stand an old woman that obviously wanting a man not only for love but also for sex. The village people felt compassion for the potter who was always such a nice man. Like he was lost (to Valeria).

★ ★ ★ ★

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