Customer Reviews of Discretion
What a well crafted book, Elizabeth did a great job narrating the story in Oufula's voice. She was Inside his head and his heart the whole way through. We had many discussions at our meeting about his upbringing, his choices from his cultural practices,from religion to mulitiple marriages.You could feel his choices, his honor to always do the right thing, and his love for both his wife and his true love. This was a touching story that pulls the heart strings, I like that they shared a love so long, A true test of time. I also liked the strength his wife and lover had. It didn't end like I thought it would. The only thing we thought was wrong, was when he hung her picture over the bed he shared with his wife. Love or no love, we all agree we would have killed him. A well crafted story. ...still pulling at my heart strings.
What is the price of passion? According to Oufoula, discretion is the better part of valor. Oufoula is an African man representing his country as an diplomat. Oufoula is married to Nerida, the daughter of the President of his homeland. Through his extensive travels, Oufoula meets and greets like-minded people; people interested in securing necessities for their homelands. One evening the name Marguerite is mentioned and Oufoula is mesmerized. He has dreamt about a woman named Margarete; the woman that Goethe's Faust sold his soul to the devil for. When dreaming of Margarete, Oufoula is actually despising a past love by the name of Mulenga. Oufoula is bound and determined not to let the love of someone destroy him as it did his mother. To replace passion, he has his work for his country to contend with. After meeting "the" Marguerite, Oufoula's life changes and love enters. Can a man actually love two women for two totally different reasons at the same time?
Elizabeth Nunez has weaved an intricate tale of passion coupled with forbidden love at the expense of it all. While the prose may appear typical, Discretion offers a look into the mind and history of man who has lost and gained much throughout his life. Nunez takes the reader on a journey through Africa and New York City, setting in place the necessary landscape to embrace this story. Many references are made of other literary works, which offer an insight into the minds of Oufoula and Marguerite. Her characterizations are developed, symbolic and heartfelt!
Nunez painted a wonderfully written yet complex portrait of a man torn between two lovers. The tale was not reduced to being contrite, sleazy, or grimy. Most importantly, she was able to capture the feelings, thoughts and emotions of the main character Oufula. She was able to understand the mindset of someone who finds themself in the predicament that Oufula was in. Nunez did all this without bashing men or coming across as a scorned female. I love this book! I couldn't put it down.
I must say that although I stumbled upon this book, I was glad for the fall. Nunez has created a book for those who really recognize the art of good storytelling and those who recognize a good writer when they see one. Discretion-lush just as Terry McMillan put it best. The language was dense and fruitful, I really felt like I was walking through a Jamaican or even African landscape for that matter. At times it was also poetic. Also, I was glad that Nunez wasn't didactic. She really let the characters speak and by doing so the reader is able to make their own opinions on colonization, African v. American relations, infidelity, adultery, religion (Christianity or animist). Very few writers can actually present so many issues without being didactic thusly being fair thusly being a good writer. The conclusion works well, she leaves us hanging on in a way that I think satisifies the reader, but honestly, Nunez has got to know that O will end up leaving his wife. I just believe that because it was more love and more passion with his mistress, or at least that what it feels like Nunez leads too (and wonderfully so without leaving the reader thinking that O doesn't love his wife.) Lastly, girl has really done it, by getting all into a man's head and still without being didactic. Peace and Blessings Nunez
from a male's point of view
i found it to be so astonishing that Ms. Nunez had such a concentrated look into the consciousness of a cheating man. I was amazed by the laguage that was used, so poetic and so beautiful. I hosted a book club where we met Ms. Nunez, and she talked about how Oufoula's practices were justified by his upbringing. I was, strangely enough as a guy, the only one to disagree with what he felt. Then again, all his beliefs were accepted because of his wife, and not what he wanted. So, my disgreement was probably not fully warranted. Oufoula's justification of this on page 256 had me rolling. i was touched and entertained by this novel.